Adenovirus infection in patients with Kawasaki disease

Motohiko Okano, Geoffrey M. Thiele, Yukio Sakiyama, Shuzo Matsumoto, David T. Purtilo

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33 Scopus citations


Two outbreaks of Kawasaki disease at different times and areas (Kyoto in 1982 and Sapporo in 1985) of Japan were studied retrospectively for the presence of antibodies to adenoviruses and herpesviruses. Only 2 of 12 (16.7%) consecutive acute phase sera of patients from the outbreak in 1982 and 1 of 10 (10.0%) sera from 1985 showed positive antibodies for the common adenovirus antigen by a complement fixation (CF) test, whereas 10 of 16 (62.5%) age‐ and sex‐matched controls during the outbreak of Kawasaki disease in 1985 were seropositive by the CF test. In contrast, using a recently developed enzyme‐linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), 9 patients (75.0%) in 1982 and 9 patients (90.0%) in 1985 had antibodies to adenovirus type 2. In addition, 5 of 10 (50.0%) of the 1982 and 6 of 9 (66.7%) of the 1985 patients who were seronegative for CF antibodies were positive for IgM antibodies to adenovirus type 2. Fifteen (93.8%) controls were positive for antibodies to adenovirus type 2 by ELISA and only two sera showed negative CF antibodies with positive IgM antibodies to adenovirus type 2. Sequential sera from 4 patients in 1985 had either IgM or IgG antibodies by ELISA and eventually three became seropositive by the CF test in time. Additionally, no significant difference was noted with antibody status to herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2 (HSV‐1 and HSV‐2), varicella zoster virus (VZV), and cytomegalovirus (CMV) between patients and controls. In contrast, antibodies to Epstein‐Barr virus (EBV) were found in only one of 22 (4.5%) patients, whereas 13 (81.3%) controls were seropositive for EBV. These findings suggests that the primary infection with adenovirus type 2 may be associated with Kawasaki disease in patients who are seronegative for EBV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-57
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1990


  • Epstein‐Barr virus
  • enzyme
  • herpesvirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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