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Develop a diagnostic test for acute rheumatic fever

Awarded $593,288 in funding
Over 3 years, starting in 2021

Develop a diagnostic test for acute rheumatic fever

Healthcare professionals don’t currently have a test which can detect which children have acute rheumatic fever. This makes it harder to treat the disease and protect children from developing rheumatic heart disease.

Assoc Prof Moreland’s team is investigating what happens in the immune systems of children who have acute rheumatic fever. The immune system usually protects the body from infection, but ARF is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system has an unusual over-reaction to the Streptococcus bacteria, causing inflammation around the body. 

The team is studying which antibodies are circulating in the blood, and what effects they cause in other parts of the body. The aim is to identify a specific pattern of antibodies, which can be used as a rapid diagnostic test, to identify children who need care and treatment.

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