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Kawasaki Disease: Infection, Immunity and Genetics

Wang, Chih-Lu MD, PhD*; Wu, Yu-Tsun MD; Liu, Chieh-An MD; Kuo, Ho-Chang MD*; Yang, Kuender D. MD, PhD*

Section Editor(s): Hill, Harry R. MD

The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal: November 2005 - Volume 24 - Issue 11 - p 998-1004
doi: 10.1097/01.inf.0000183786.70519.fa
Immunology for the Pediatrician

Kawasaki disease is an acute multisystem vasculitic syndrome of unknown etiology occurring mostly in infants and children younger than 5 years of age. In developed countries, Kawasaki disease is currently the leading cause of acquired heart diseases in children. However, it is still a mysterious disease. In this article, we reviewed and summarized from the aspects based on infection agents, host immune dysregulation and genetic background intended to establish a feasible infection-immunogenetic pathogenesis for this mysterious disease and also provided the rational strategy to explore optimal treatment of this disease.

From the Divisions of *Pediatric Immunology and †Neonatology, Chang-Gung Children's Hospital at Kaohsiung and Chang-Gung University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; and the ‡Department of Pediatrics, St. Joseph's Hospital, Yunlin County, Taiwan

Editor's Note: Kawasaki disease continues to be a not uncommon, serious disorder affecting children with significant consequences in some instances. Dr. Chih-Lu Wang and Dr. Kuender Yang and colleagues of the Chang-Gung Children's Hospital in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, have seen a very large number of cases of Kawasaki disease and performed some very interesting investigations related to the pathogenesis of the disorder. The presentation, epidemiology and inflammatory aspects of the disease continue to suggest an infectious etiology. The extensive review of their experience is a timely topic for the pediatrician, immunologist and infectious disease specialist.

Accepted for publication May 10, 2005.

Address for reprints: Kuender D. Yang, MD, PhD, 123 Ta-Pei Road, Chang Gung Children's Hospital, Niau-Sung, Kaohsiung 833, Taiwan. Fax 886-77312867; E-mail

© 2005 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.