In 18 consecutive children with Kawasaki disease of recent onset, reverse transcriptase (RT) activity was studied in co-cultivated peripheral-blood-mononuclear-cell/lymphoblastoid-cell supernatants. 8 of 18 children, but only 1 of 18 controls, showed RT activity in one or more sample (p = 0.009). RT activity was identified in 14 of 226 samples from patients, but in only 1 of 167 from controls (p < 0.01). The findings suggest that a retroviral agent may be casually related to Kawasaki disease.
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