Is Kawasaki disease an infectious disorder?

Rowley, A. H.

Int J Rheum Dis. 2017 Nov 7; 21(1):20-25


Although the etiology of Kawasaki disease (KD) is largely unknown, a large body of clinical, epidemiologic, immunologic, pathologic and ultrastructural evidence suggests that an infectious agent triggers a cascade that causes the illness. However, this elusive infectious agent remains unidentified at present. Increasingly sensitive molecular methods for identifying microbial nucleic acids and proteins in tissue samples continue to rapidly emerge, and these methods should be utilized in studies on KD etiology as they become available. Identifying the etiology of this enigmatic disease remains the single most important research goal in the field, and accomplishing this goal is the best means to improve diagnosis, treatment and prevention of this potentially fatal childhood disease.

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