Poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis is one of the oldest recognized renal diseases. In the past three decades, significant changes have occurred in its epidemiology, in new insight gained in the nephritogenic characteristics of streptococcal antigens, and in the natural history of the disease. The disease is now rare in industrialized nations, but in the underprivileged world, the burden of poststreptococcal glomerulonephritis ranges between 9.5 and 28.5 new cases per 100,000 individuals per year. Prophylactic antibiotic treatment is advisable in epidemic conditions and to household contacts of index cases in communities where the prevalence of the disease is high. The long-term prognosis is variable; in general, prognosis is excellent in children but significantly worse when it occurs in elderly individuals and in populations that present other risk factors of chronic kidney disease. Contemporary large-scale research strategies such as genome-wide sequencing may uncover new information about pathogenic factors contributing to disease.
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