Denbow, Charles E. ; Barton, Everard N. ; Smikle, Monica
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Department of Medicine
The prophylaxis of acute rheumatic fever in a pair of monozygotic twins: The public health implications
West Indian Medical Journal
Date of Publication
Recurrent acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease can be prevented by antibiotic intervention. We report the case of genetically identical twins, one of whom had overt rheumatic fever, received penicillin prophylaxis and did not have rheumatic heart disease. The other must have had inapparent rheumatic fever, received no chemotherapy prophylaxis and proceeded to develop rheumatic heart disease. A greater clinical and laboratory vigilance is required for the diagnosis of acute rheumatic fever in the asymptomatic identical twin of a patient with rheumatic fever. This case provides further evidence of a genetic predisposition to rheumatic fever and demonstrates the continued value of penicillin in the prophylaxis of acute rheumatic fever. It emphasises the need to maintain the integrity of preventive programmes against rheumatic fever worldwide. Studies which explore the HLA and other genetic linkages with rheumatic fever should be encouraged.....