What are the Causes of Rheumatic Fever?
Rheumaticfever usually develops 2 to 6 weeks after a streptococcal infection.
The exact link between strep infection and rheumatic fever is not clear.
The bacterium contains a protein similar to a protein found in certain tissues of the body. Therefore, the immune system cells that would normally target the strep bacterium may treat the body's own tissues as if they were the infectious agents; particularly tissues of the heart, joints, skin and central nervous system. This immune system reaction results in inflammation.