Objectives: To assess the prevalence of superantigen secreting bacteria in children with acute Kawasaki disease (KD) relative to control patients. Study design: Bacterial cultures were obtained in a blinded fashion from the throat, rectum, and groin of 45 patients with untreated acute KD and 37 febrile control patients from 6 centers in the United States. Cultures were processed for the presence of superantigen-producing bacteria at a central laboratory. Results: Staphylococci or streptococci that produced superantigens (TSST-1, SEB, SEC, SPEB, SPEC) were isolated from 25 of 45 patients with KD (56%) as compared with 13 of 37 (35%) control patients (P = .078). Because SEB- and SEC-producing Staphylococcus aureus have not been associated with KD and because they do not induce a Vβ2+ T-lymphocyte response, we analyzed the difference between groups relative to superantigens TSST-1 or SPEB/SPEC production. TSST-1 secreting S aureus or SPEB/SPEC producing group A streptococci were isolated from 20 of 45 (44%) patients with KD compared with 7 of 37 (19%) control patients (P = .019). Conclusions: The overall isolation rates of superantigen (TSST-1, SPEB, SPEC, SEB, SEC) producing bacteria between patients with KD and febrile control patients were not statistically significant. However, future studies should further examine the potential role of Vβ2-stimulatory superantigens (TSST-1 and SPEB/SPEC) in KD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health