The role of the tonsils in streptococcal infections: A comparison of tonsillectomized children and sibling controls

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

One hundred and one children aged 3-14 years with tonsillectomies were age-matched within 3 years with siblings who had tonsils. The risk of carrying streptococci in the throat and the duration of carriage of the organism were both decreased by the removal of the tonsils. Nasopharyngeal as well as throat cultures were indicated for the detection of streptococci in children without tonsils. The patients had less chance of having one or more significant rises in antistreptolysin O titers than did their sibling controls. The number of serologically proven infections in both groups was very low and did not differ significantly between cases and controls. Over half of the serologically proven infections were undetected bacteriologically. The risk of such "hidden" infections did not differ between patients and their siblings. The lower streptolysin O antibody titers in uninfected patients when compared to controls suggested that the tonsils may play a role as a site of continuous antigenic stimulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)278-291
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Volume95
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1972

Keywords

  • Rheumatic fever
  • Streptococcal infections
  • Streptolysin
  • Tonsil
  • Tonsillec-tomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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