The disease, the cause of which is currently unknown, is a rare and severe childhood disorder that occurs mainly in young children. It is the most common cause of childhood acquired heart disease in developed countries.
The disease is more common in Japanese children and those of Asian descent, but it is found in all ethnic groups, affecting around 1 in 10,000 children of Caucasian descent.
The new study identifies variations in 31 genes which appear to increase a child’s risk of developing Kawasaki Disease.
The findings will enable scientists to develop more effective ways of tackling the disease, by revealing new targets for treatment, say the researchers, from Imperial College London, the University of Western Australia, the Genome Institute of Singapore, Emma Childrens Hospital, Netherlands, and the University of San Diego California.
Some of the variations identified appear in genes that work together to control signalling between immune cells and heart cells. The researchers are planning to carry out further work to understand how these mutations contribute to the disease.
Epidemiological studies suggest that Kawasaki Disease is triggered by an as yet unidentified infection. It is currently treated using pooled antibodies from healthy donors. This treatment shortens the period of illness and most children recover after two to three weeks. It reduces but does not eliminate the risk of heart disease.
Professor Michael Levin, one of the authors of the study from the Department of Paediatrics at Imperial College London said: “Sadly, all the hospitals in the UK frequently see children with Kawasaki Disease. A child whose coronary arteries are damaged in early childhood faces a lifetime of uncertainty and risk, and we desperately need better treatments to prevent long term heart problems in those affected. We hope our new study will help us to reach this goal.”
Dr Victoria Wright, another author of the study from the Department of Paediatrics at Imperial College London said: “Kawasaki Disease was identified less than fifty years ago so it is a relatively new disease. We still have a long way to go with this research but this is an important step in understanding the disease better.”
For the new study, the international consortium combined their patients to perform a genome-wide association study in 119 Caucasian KD cases and 135 matched controls from Australia, Holland, USA and the UK. They looked at 250000 genetic variants in each patient and uncovered the most significant genes that appeared to be involved in Kawasaki Disease. They then replicated this in an independent cohort of a total of 893 KD cases plus population and family controls.
The researchers are now planning to analyse an Asian cohort of people with Kawasaki Disease, to see if their results can be replicated in this population.
Lucy Goodchild | alfa
Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution
09.12.2016 | Veterans Affairs Research Communications
Oxygen can wake up dormant bacteria for antibiotic attacks
08.12.2016 | Penn State
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine