Can be both. Carditis can be due to infections with bacteria, viruses, fungi and non-infectious causes such as auto-immune disease, e.g. Rheumatic fever, lupus, post mi/cardiotomy syndrome, and radiation injury etc.
What is the relationship between inflammation of the heart (carditis) and infection with group a beta-hemolytic streptococci?
Strep. Beta hemolytic strep is a common cause of bacterial endocarditis an infection of the heart valve (s).
Myo and pericarditis. Inflammation can be of the heart muscle (myocarditis) or of the lining of the heart (pericarditis). Myocarditis is often viral and sometimes can lead to heart failure; symptoms can be chest pain, shortness of breath, palpitations and generalized malaise. Pericarditis has many causes and may lead to fluid accumulation around the heart. Main symptom is chest pain, especially when lying down.
There are 2 types. Pericarditis which is inflamtion of the sac of the heart or the outer membrane mostly due to virus and myocarditis which is inflamtion of the heart muscle and is much more serious and could lead to heart failure.
Multiple causes. Infection, especially with viruses can cause heart inflammation. Bacterial infections, especially of the valves also cause inflammation. Any heart attack has attendant inflammation. Auto-immune diseases, e.g. Lupus can also cause heart inflammation. Rheumatic fever is an other example of heart inflammation.
Will ESR (Sed rate) and CBC show abnormalities with meningitis or other infection causing brain or heart inflammation?
Not reliable. If you're having symptoms of meningitis or heart disease (palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath), the sed rate is utterly worthless as a way of ruling out disease and even a normal CBC proves nothing. I'm a lab physician and want to reassure you -- the key question is not "What's my ESR? " but "How do I FEEL? "
Parasite infection? Have had heart palps, itchy scalp, inflammation of throat and colon. Sinus congestion on and off. Leaky stool with mucus that subsided. Possibly anal fissure felt pain in rectum towards back/tailbone when pushing out to pass gas.
See a doctor. You need to see a doctor you are having many symptoms, it is hard to see if some of them are connected, or you are having two or three different problems from heart to itchy scalp, throat infection, and colon, sinus congestion, and leaky stool with anal fissure. Please see a doctor they can help better with this complicated picture.
Heart disease. Viruses like hiv, coxsackie and adenovirus; bacteria like staph, strep and ricketssia, and parasites like trypanosomes.