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עמוד בית
Wed, 29.05.24

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April 2024
Limor Adler MD MPH, Or Tzadok Zehavi MD, Miriam Parizade PhD, Yair Hershkovitz MD, Menashe Meni Amran MD, Robert Hoffman MD, Tal Hakmon Aronson MD, Erela Rotlevi MD, Bar Cohen MPH, Ilan Yehoshua MD

Background: The prevalence of Group A streptococcus (GAS) carriage among adults is studied less than in children. The variability of reported carriage rates is considerably large and differs among diverse geographic areas and populations.

Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of GAS carriage among adults in Israel.

Methods: In this prospective study, conducted in a large healthcare maintenance organization in Israel, we obtained pharyngeal cultures from adults attending the clinic without upper respiratory tract complaints or fever. Patient data included sex, age, number of children, and religious sectors.

Results: From May to December 2022, eight family physicians collected a total of 172 throat swabs (86% response rate). The median age was 37 years (range 18–65); 72.7% were females, 22.7% were ultra-Orthodox Jewish, and 69.2% had children. The prevalence of GAS carriage was 6.98%, 95% confidence interval (95%CI) 3.7%–11.9%. GAS carriers were younger (31.7 vs. 39.3 years, P = 0.046), and the majority were ultra-Orthodox Jews (58.3% vs. 20%, P = 0.006). All GAS carriers were from lower socioeconomic status. When assessing risk factors for GAS carriage using multivariate analysis, only being an ultra-Orthodox Jew was positively related to GAS carriage (adjusted odds ratio 5.6, 95%CI 1.67–18.8).

Conclusion: Being an ultra-Orthodox Jew was the single variable associated with a GAS carriage, which may be related to having many children at home and living in overcrowded areas. Primary care physicians in Israel should recognize this situation when examining patients with sore throats, mainly ultra-Orthodox Jews.

December 2010
O. Ronen, S. Bar Cohen and D. Rund

Background: Traditionally, medication dosage was based on clinical and demographic parameters, but drug metabolism was recently recognized as an important factor for proper dosing and prediction of side effects. Metabolic considerations are crucial when administering drugs with a narrow therapeutic index, such as those of the thioguanides family (azathioprine and 6-MP). These can cause life-threatening myelosuppression due to low activity of a critical metabolic enzyme, thiopurine S-methyl transferase. A number of single nucleotide substitutions encoding variant enzymes account for most enzyme deficiencies.

Objectives: To determine the frequency of individuals from different Israeli ethnic groups who may be at risk for drug toxicity from drugs of the thioguanide family due to enzymatic variants.

Methods: DNA analysis was performed using polymerase chain reaction methods. We tested TPMT[1] allelic variants TPMT*3A (G460A, A719G), TPMT*3B (G460A) and TPMT*3C (A719G) in five subpopulations in Israel: mixed-origin Israeli Jews, Arabs, Druze, Jews of Kurdish extraction, and Ethiopian Jews.

Results: The Druze (P = 0.0002) and Ethiopian Jewish (P = 0.015) subpopulations had a significantly unique distribution of allelic variants compared to the rest of the Israeli population. The Druze subpopulation showed a high number of TPMT variants with decreased activity, and a homozygote for TPMT*3A/ *3A was detected.  Ethiopian Jews were found to carry mainly the TPMT*3C variant, also observed in other studies of African populations.

Conclusions: It is advisable that Druze patients be tested for the TPMT enzyme before starting treatment with 6-MP or azathioprine. Such testing may also be considered for other Israeli ethnic subgroups.






[1] TMPT = thiopurine S-methyl transferase


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