Poststreptococcal acute glomerulonephritis is prototypic of the immunologic glomerulonephritides. It most commonly follows streptococcal infection of the pharynx or skin. The diagnosis is usually not difficult when a nephritic clinical presentation (with such manifestations as hematuria, edema, and hypertension) is associated with serologic evidence of recent streptococcal infection and a depressed serum complement concentration. Currently, however, the nephritogenic antigen(s) has not been identified and has not been shown to be the same antigen for all nephritogenic streptococci; it may not even be a part of the infecting organism. The development of a vaccine to prevent this illness from occurring is therefore still not possible. Whether poststreptococcal acute glomerulonephritis progresses to chronic renal failure is still uncertain. Painstaking laboratory research together with careful, prospective long-term follow-up studies of patients with poststreptococcal acute glomerulonephritis may provide some of the answers to these critical questions.

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