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Microbiol Immunol. 1997;41(11):895-900.

Serologic evidence that streptococcal superantigens are not involved in the pathogenesis of Kawasaki disease.

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Diagnostic Science Department, Shionogi & Co., Ltd., Osaka, Japan.


Kawasaki disease (KD) is an acute multisystem vasculitis of unknown etiology and is associated with marked activation of T cells and monocyte macrophages, leading to the assumption that superantigens are involved in its pathogenesis. To determine if an association exists between streptococcal superantigens and KD, we examined serum antibody responses to superantigens in sera from 50 paired acute and convalescent KD patients using purified recombinant streptococcal superantigens, such as SPEA, SPEC, SSA and MF. We found a very low frequency of detection of anti-superantigen antibodies by ELISA and no marked IgG seroconversion to each superantigen, indicating the absence of a serological relationship between toxin-producing streptococcal infection and the onset of KD.

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