Reduction in Acute Post-Streptococcal Glomerulonephritis Incidence in Counties Manukau, New Zealand, after the COVID-19 Pandemic

Amanda Taylor Department of Paediatrics, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand;

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Jocelyn Neutze Kidz First Children’s Hospital, Te Whatu Ora Counties Manukau, Auckland, New Zealand;

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Nicole J. Moreland Department of Molecular Medicine and Pathology, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand;
Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand;

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Rachel Webb Department of Paediatrics, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand;
Kidz First Children’s Hospital, Te Whatu Ora Counties Manukau, Auckland, New Zealand;
Starship Children’s Health, Te Whatu Ora Te Toka Tumai Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

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ABSTRACT.

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the epidemiology of many common childhood infections, including Group A streptococcal (GAS) disease. Acute post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis (APSGN) is a nonsuppurative complication of GAS pharyngitis and pyoderma. It remains the most common cause of pediatric acute glomerulonephritis globally. In Counties Manukau, New Zealand, APSGN rates have previously been shown to be the highest in the country, with marked ethnic and socioeconomic disparities. We performed a retrospective review of children aged 0–14 years who were discharged from Kidz First Hospital, Counties Manukau, between 2015 and 2023 and met the Strep A Vaccine Global Consortium consensus definition of APSGN. We describe a marked, sustained reduction in APSGN hospitalizations, temporally associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. This ongoing reduction in APSGN incidence is notable in light of contrasting reports of increasing incidence of rheumatic fever in New Zealand and invasive GAS disease internationally.

Author Notes

Financial support: This work was supported by the Health Research Council of New Zealand, award number 22/128. The funder had no involvement in study design, collection or analysis of data, writing of the manuscript, or the decision to submit for publication.

Authors’ addresses: Amanda Taylor, Department of Paediatrics, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, E-mail: amanda.taylor@auckland.ac.nz. Jocelyn Neutze and Rachel Webb, Kidz First Children’s Hospital, Te Whatu Ora Counties Manukau, Auckland, New Zealand, E-mails: jocelyn.neutze@middlemore.co.nz and rachel.webb@auckland.ac.nz. Nicole J. Moreland, Department of Molecular Medicine and Pathology, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, E-mail: n.moreland@auckland.ac.nz.

Address correspondence to Amanda Taylor, Department of Paediatrics, University of Auckland, 2 Park Rd., Grafton, Auckland 1023, New Zealand. E-mail: ataylor@adhb.govt.nz
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