The etiology is inknown. There has been a strong doubt that the etiology of Kawasaki syndrome is infectious. No single infectious agents has been implicated. The autoimmune reactions and genetic predisposition have been suggested as possible etiologic factors.
Kawasoki that raise concern for an infectious etiology include the occurrence of epidemics primarily in late winter and spring with 3 year intervals and the geographic spread of the disease occurs. The person to person transmission is possible.
Some authors have proposed a controversial association of KD with recent carpet shampooing, flooding, the use of a humidifier in the room of a child with an antecedent respiratory illness, and locations near bodies of water. These data have led to a waterborne vector hypothesis.
The overall clinical presentation of patients with KD is similar to that of patients with a viral or superantigenic disease. However, investigations have shown that the immune response in KD is oligoclonal, which is seen as a response to a conventional antigen, rather than polyclonal, as would be found in a superantigen-driven response.
Over the years, multiple infectious agents have been implicated; however, to date, no single microbial agent has surfaced as the prevailing cause. Suspected pathogens and infections have included the following:
Bacterial toxin–mediated superantigens
Parainfluenza type 3 virus
Human lymphotropic virus
Using light and electron microscopy, researchers have identified cytoplasmic inclusion bodies containing RNA in 85% of acute- and late-stage KD fatalities and 25% of adult controls. Based on this finding, it is hypothesized that the KD infective agent could be a ubiquitous RNA virus that results in asymptomatic infection in most individuals, but leads to KD in a subset of genetically predisposed individuals. It is also possible that many infectious agents trigger one final common pathway in susceptible hosts, which leads to KD.
Genetic factors associated with Kawasaki disease
A genetic predilection to KD has long been suspected. Siblings of affected children have a 10-20 times higher probability of developing KD than the general population, and children in Japan whose parents had KD seem to have a more severe form of the disease and to be more susceptible to recurrence. This risk of 2 family members having KD is greatest in twins, for whom the rate is approximately 13%.
Aorta is an organ that mediates the flow of blood to the vital organs such as brain and heart. Such dilatation of the blood vessels is called Aneurysm.
If it is left untreated it might leads to severe complications such as inflammation of the blood vessels. This can cause severe damage because it affects the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart muscle causing aortic arteries aneurysm to develop. An aneurysm is a ballooning out of a damaged and weakened blood vessel wall. The treatment within the first 10 days of illness significantly decreases the risk of aneurysms.