Purpose: The purpose of this prospective case-control study was to survey the detection rate of respiratory viruses in children with Kawasaki disease (KD) by using multiplex reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and to investigate the clinical implications of the prevalence of respiratory viruses during the acute phase of KD.
Methods: RT-PCR assays were carried out to screen for the presence of respiratory syncytial virus A and B, adenovirus, rhinovirus, parainfluenza viruses 1 to 4, influenza virus A and B, metapneumovirus, bocavirus, coronavirus OC43/229E and NL63, and enterovirus in nasopharyngeal secretions of 55 KD patients and 78 control subjects.
Results: Virus detection rates in KD patients and control subjects were 32.7% and 30.8%, respectively (P=0.811). However, there was no significant association between the presence of any of the 15 viruses and the incidence of KD. Comparisons between the 18 patients with positive RT-PCR results and the other 37 KD patients revealed no significant differences in terms of clinical findings (including the prevalence of incomplete presentation of the disease) and coronary artery diameter.
Conclusion: A positive RT-PCR for currently epidemic respiratory viruses should not be used as an evidence against the diagnosis of KD. These viruses were not associated with the incomplete presentation of KD and coronary artery dilatation.
Keywords: Coronary aneurysm; Mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome; Respiratory tract infections; Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction; Viruses.