Menzies seminar series 


Dr Rebecca Towers presents ‘Developing new tools in the diagnosis of acute rheumatic fever sera’, on Monday 13 October from 12pm to 1pm. 
Acute rheumatic fever is an autoimmune sequel of group A streptococcal infection mostly affecting school-aged children. Recurrent episodes of rheumatic fever can result in the development of rheumatic heart disease (RHD), a chronic life-threatening disease. 
RHD can be prevented by early diagnosis and intervention, however, difficulties in diagnosis in such a remote setting as the NT results in almost one third of initial episodes being misdiagnosed. 
Identification of autoantigens potentially involved in the pathogenesis of acute rheumatic fever (ARF) will provide insight into potential mechanisms of disease but more importantly may lead to an all important method of diagnosing ARF via a simple serodiagnostic test. 
Dr Towers will discuss previous attempts to identify serodiagnostic markers of ARF and will also talk about her current research analysing the serodiagnostic potential of 12 promising autoantigens previously identified by screening a human heart cDNA library will ARF sera. The nature of the proteins identified has exciting implications for future research into the pathogenic mechanism of this disease and Dr Towers will briefly discuss an alternate model of pathogenesis. 
This seminar takes place in the Menzies Seminar Room, John Mathews Building, Royal Darwin Hospital Campus.