Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Kawasaki disease linked to wind currents

November 10, 2011
First evidence that long-range wind transport of an infectious agent might result in human disease

Kawasaki Disease (KD) is a severe childhood disease that many parents, even some doctors, mistake for an inconsequential viral infection. In fact, if not diagnosed or treated in time, it can lead to irreversible heart damage. After 50 years of research, including genetic studies, scientists have been unable to pinpoint the cause of the disease.

Now, surprising findings of an international team of scientists organized by Jane C. Burns, MD, professor and chief, Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Rheumatology at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine's Department of Pediatrics and Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego, suggest that KD cases are linked to large-scale wind currents that track from Asia to Japan and also traverse the North Pacific.

"Our findings suggest an environmental trigger for Kawasaki disease that could be wind-borne," Burns said.

Signs of KD include prolonged fever associated with rash, red eyes, mouth, lips and tongue, and swollen hands and feet with peeling skin. The disease causes damage to the coronary arteries in a quarter of untreated children and may lead to serious heart problems in early adulthood. There is no diagnostic test for Kawasaki disease, and current treatment fails to prevent coronary artery damage in at least one in 10 to 20 children and death in one in 1,000 children.

While seasonality of the disease has been noted in many regions - particularly in Japan, the country of highest incidence for KD - the search for factors that might contribute to epidemics and fluctuations in KD occurrence has been elusive. A study of KD cases in Japan since 1970 showed three dramatic nationwide epidemics, each lasting several months and peaking in April 1979 (6,700 cases), May 1982 (16,100 cases) and March 1986 (14,700 cases). These three peaks represent the largest KD epidemic events ever recorded in the world.

To investigate a possible influence from large-scale environmental factors, researchers including Daniel R. Cayan, Climate Atmospheric Science and Physical Oceanography (CASPO) at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, and Xavier Rodo and Joan Ballester, of the Institut Català de Ciències del Clima and the Institució Catalana de Recerca (IC3) in Barcelona, Spain, investigated a set of atmospheric and oceanographic measures, which revealed a link to pressure patterns and associated wind flow from the surface to mid-tropospheric atmospheric levels during the summer months prior to onset of the epidemics.

"The Japanese dataset revealed that a low number of KD cases were reported prior to the epidemics, a period coinciding with southerly winds which blew across Japan from the Pacific Ocean during the summer months," said Rodo, the study's first author. "However, the numbers rapidly mounted all over Japan when winds turned and blew in a southwesterly direction. After the peaks, the winds again shifted, blowing from the south when the number of cases again decreased."

"Importantly, subsequent to the three epidemics, years with increased numbers of Kawasaki disease cases in Japan were significantly associated with enhanced local northwesterly winds, as a result of low pressure centered to the north," said Cayan.

To assess whether such variations in wind patterns were associated with KD case fluctuations on the other side of the North Pacific, similar analyses were conducted for San Diego. According to the scientists, the atmospheric connection from continental Asia to Japan and San Diego is intermittent and can take different routes. However, it was possible from their analysis to identify the major anomalous yearly peaks of KD cases occurring in San Diego from 1994 to 2008 as belonging to two main atmospheric configurations.

In fact, the major fluctuations in KD case numbers in Japan, Hawaii and San Diego were linked to a seasonal shift in winds that exposed Japan to air masses from Central Asia. One key pattern simultaneously exposed Hawaii and California to air masses from the western North Pacific.

"The linkage to the wind currents, which can cross the Pacific in less than one week, may explain why KD case numbers recorded in Japan, San Diego and Hawaii show a nearly synchronized seasonal peak in disease activity from November through March," Rodo said.

Burns reports that the findings could be significant in efforts to isolate the cause of this devastating childhood disease. "It could be that an infectious agent is transported across the ocean by strong air currents developing in the upper troposphere," she said, adding that while this would seem the most plausible explanation for the findings, the role of pollutants or other inert particles must be considered.

These hypotheses are currently being investigated. A research aircraft carrying an engineer from the Catalonian team used a custom-built air sampling apparatus to collect tropospheric air samples from over Japan in March 2011, and the entire biome of the tropospheric dust collection is being sequenced in the laboratory of W.Ian Lipkin, MD, at Columbia University in New York City. Lipkin is one of the leading "molecular detectives" who uses sequencing to find new infectious agents. On the other side of the U.S., teams of pediatric doctors from hospitals from California to Alaska and Hawaii have initiated real-time reporting of KD cases to Scripps Institution of Oceanography via the Web. There, Cayan and his team are analyzing cases in relation to regional climate and tropospheric wind patterns.

While links between human respiratory disease and large-scale dust transport are well-documented, to date there has been no evidence of long-range wind transport of an infectious agent causing human disease.

University of California - San Diego


Related Kawasaki Disease Current Events and Kawasaki Disease News Articles


Kawasaki disease and pregnant women
In the first study of its type, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have looked at the health threat to pregnant women with a history of Kawasaki disease (KD), concluding that the risks are low with informed management and care.

Data from across globe defines distinct Kawasaki disease season
After more than four decades of research, strong evidence now shows that Kawasaki disease has a distinct seasonal occurrence shared by regions across the Northern hemisphere.

Study finds new pneumococcal vaccine appears to be as safe as previously used vaccine
The new 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) appears to be as safe as the previous version used prior to 2010, the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7), according to a Kaiser Permanente study published today in Vaccine.

A urine test for a rare and elusive disease
A set of proteins detected in urine by researchers at Boston Children's Hospital may prove to be the first biomarkers for Kawasaki disease, an uncommon but increasingly prevalent disease which causes inflammation of blood vessels that can lead to enlarged coronary arteries and even heart attacks in some children.

High fever and evidence of a virus? Caution, it still may be Kawasaki disease
Clinicians should take caution when diagnosing a child who has a high fever and whose tests show evidence of adenovirus, and not assume the virus is responsible for Kawasaki-like symptoms.

Chronic exposure to staph bacteria may be risk factor for lupus, Mayo study finds
Chronic exposure to even small amounts of staph bacteria could be a risk factor for the chronic inflammatory disease lupus, Mayo Clinic research shows.

Researchers link Kawasaki Disease in childhood with increased risk of adult heart disease
Cedars-Sinai researchers have linked Kawasaki Disease, a serious childhood illness that causes inflammation of blood vessels throughout the body, with early-onset and accelerated atherosclerosis, a leading cause of heart disease in adults.

Study finds Filipino children in San Diego County at higher risk for Kawasaki disease
While children of all ethnicities can contract Kawasaki disease (KD), a study led by researchers at the Kawasaki Disease Research Center at the University of California, San Diego and Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego finds that Filipino children with KD are at a higher risk for inflammation of the blood vessels of the heart than those of other Asian and non-Asian backgrounds.

Bypass surgery has long-term benefits for children with Kawasaki disease
Coronary artery bypass surgery provides long-term benefits for children whose hearts and blood vessels are damaged by Kawasaki disease, Japanese researchers report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

New clues to mystery childhood illness: Kawasaki disease
A study looking at the entire human genome has identified new genes that appear to be involved in making some children more susceptible to Kawasaki disease (KD), a serious illness that often leads to coronary artery disease, according to a new international study published in PLoS Genetics.
More Kawasaki Disease Current Events and Kawasaki Disease News Articles

Kawasaki Disease: Novel Insights into Etiology and Genetic Susceptibility (Annual Review of Medicine Book 62)

Kawasaki Disease: Novel Insights into Etiology and Genetic Susceptibility (Annual Review of Medicine Book 62)
by Annual Reviews


Kawasaki disease (KD) is a vasculitis of young childhood that particularly affects the coronary arteries. Molecular analysis of the oligoclonal IgA response in acute KD led to production of synthetic KD antibodies. These antibodies identify intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies in acute KD tissues. Light and electron microscopic studies indicate that the inclusion bodies are consistent with aggregates of viral proteins and RNA. Advances in molecular genetic analysis and completion of the Human Genome Project have sparked a worldwide effort to identify genes associated with KD. A polymorphism of one such gene, ITPKC, a negative regulator of T cell activation, confers susceptibility to KD in Japanese populations and increases the risk of developing coronary artery abnormalities in both Japanese...

21st Century Kawasaki Disease / Syndrome Sourcebook: Clinical Data for Patients, Families, and Physicians - Diagnosis, Testing, Treatment, Drugs, Vasculitis and Related Autoimmune Diseases

21st Century Kawasaki Disease / Syndrome Sourcebook: Clinical Data for Patients, Families, and Physicians - Diagnosis, Testing, Treatment, Drugs, Vasculitis and Related Autoimmune Diseases
by Progressive Management


This comprehensive ebook provides authoritative information and practical advice from the nation's health experts about Kawasaki disease (also called Kawasaki syndrome). Starting with the basics, and advancing to detailed patient-oriented and physician-quality information, the 21st Century Sourcebook series gives empowered patients, families, caregivers, nurses, and physicians the information they need to understand this autoimmune disorder. Subjects and topics covered include symptoms, outlook, causes, who is at risk, diagnosis, tests and procedures, echocardiography, treatment, long-term care and treatment, medical procedures and surgery, research, clinical trials, and more.

This edition includes our exclusive Guide to Leading Medical Websites with updated links to 81 of the...

Kawasaki Disease - A Medical Dictionary, Bibliography, and Annotated Research Guide to Internet References

Kawasaki Disease - A Medical Dictionary, Bibliography, and Annotated Research Guide to Internet References
by Icon Health Publications (Author)


This is a 3-in-1 reference book. It gives a complete medical dictionary covering hundreds of terms and expressions relating to Kawasaki disease. It also gives extensive lists of bibliographic citations. Finally, it provides information to users on how to update their knowledge using various Internet resources. The book is designed for physicians, medical students preparing for Board examinations, medical researchers, and patients who want to become familiar with research dedicated to Kawasaki disease. If your time is valuable, this book is for you. First, you will not waste time searching the Internet while missing a lot of relevant information. Second, the book also saves you time indexing and defining entries. Finally, you will not waste time and money printing hundreds of web pages.

Medical Nutrition and Disease: A Case-Based Approach

Medical Nutrition and Disease: A Case-Based Approach
by Lisa Hark (Author), Darwin Deen (Author), Gail Morrison (Author)


Medical Nutrition and Disease: A Case-Based Approach is an ideal way for medical students, physician assistant students, dietetic students, dietetic interns, and medical residents to advance their nutrition knowledge and skills. Dietitians in clinical practice and dietetic educators will also benefit from the updated nutrition concepts and case-based approach.

The 5th edition of this best-selling text has been fully updated and includes 13 chapters and 29 cases, with 6 brand new cases. The text is a practical guide to the role that nutrition plays in disease prevention, treatment, and management and also provides 48 self-study continuing education credits (C.E.) for dietitians.

Medical Nutrition and Disease:
• Features learning objectives and current...

The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body

The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body
by Sarah Ballantyne (Author), Robb Wolf (Foreword)


An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from some form of autoimmune disease. If you're among them, you may know all too well how little modern medicine can do to alleviate your condition. But that's no reason to give up hope. In this groundbreaking book, Sarah D. Ballantyne, Ph.D., draws upon current medical research and her own battle with an autoimmune disorder to show you how you can become completely symptom-free—the natural way.

The Paleo Approach is the first book ever to explain how to adapt the Paleo diet and lifestyle to bring about a full recovery. Read it to learn why foods marketed as "healthy"—such as whole grains, soy, and low-fat dairy—can contribute to the development of autoimmune conditions. Discover what you can eat to calm your immune system, reduce...

Stoelting's Anesthesia and Co-Existing Disease: Expert Consult - Online and Print, 6e

Stoelting's Anesthesia and Co-Existing Disease: Expert Consult - Online and Print, 6e
by Roberta L. Hines MD (Author), Katherine Marschall MD (Author)


With Stoelting's Anesthesia and Co-Existing Disease, you'll have the succinct, yet thorough guidance you need to successfully avoid or manage complications stemming from pre-existing medical conditions. Advanced research from experts in the field will help you overcome the toughest challenges in practice, letting you offer your patients the best care, each and every time.Deliver anesthesia as safely as possible with extensive coverage of the pathophysiology of numerous coexisting conditions.Effectively manage special patient populations with a focus on pediatric, geriatric, and adult patients.Master the ins and outs of a wide range of diseases, from common to rare, through detailed discussions of each disease's unique features. Access the fully searchable text online anytime, anywhere, at...

Managing Infectious Diseases in Child Care and Schools: A Quick Reference Guide

Managing Infectious Diseases in Child Care and Schools: A Quick Reference Guide
by Susan S. Aronson MD FAAP (Editor), Timothy R. Shope MD MPH FAAP (Editor)


Completely revised and updated to reflect the latest guidance and recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, the new third edition of this award-winning quick reference guide provides the latest information on the prevention and management of infectious diseases.
Presented in an easy-to-use format, this 'must-have' guide provides: Content from AAP's premier source of information on infectious diseases, the Red Book Quick reference fact sheets on more than 50 common infectious diseases and symptoms that occur in children in group settings Easy-to-read explanations on how infectious diseases spread Strategies for limiting the spread of infection When exclusion is indicated and not indicated Guidance about which situations require immediate help ...

Skin Disease: Diagnosis and Treatment, 3e (Skin Disease: Diagnosis and Treatment (Habif))

Skin Disease: Diagnosis and Treatment, 3e (Skin Disease: Diagnosis and Treatment (Habif))
by Thomas P. Habif MD (Author), James L. Campbell Jr. MD MS (Author), M. Shane Chapman MD (Author), James G. H. Dinulos MD (Author), Kathryn A. Zug MD (Author)


Skin Disease: Diagnosis and Treatment, 3rd Edition, by Drs. Thomas P. Habif, James L. Campbell, Jr., M. Shane Chapman, James G. H. Dinulos, and Kathryn A. Zug, is the quick and practical clinical reference you need to help you effectively diagnose and treat 250 common dermatologic diseases. You'll find succinct, user-friendly chapters arranged by disorder type, updated treatment plans, and hundreds of new images showing diseases in various stages of manifestation, including detailed information and illustrations on tropical dermatology. Perfect for any medical practitioner who'd rather treat than refer patients with skin disease, this full-color resource will also serve you well when prepping for the boards.Gain reliable, practical, and efficient guidance regarding the diagnoses and...

Essentials of Clinical Infectious Diseases

Essentials of Clinical Infectious Diseases
by William F. Wright DO MPH (Editor)


This practical handbook provides readers with a quick but comprehensive overview of the major infectious disease topics and clinical approach to diagnosis and management. Covering the core areas of importance to students, residents, fellows, and practitioners in any discipline, the book presents a systematic method for understanding basic mechanisms, establishing a diagnosis, and implementing appropriate treatment for commonly encountered problems. Written in outline format with 46 short, focused chapters, this ready reference is essential reading for physicians looking for guidance in navigating the constellation of symptoms and myriad treatment options for patients with infectious diseases. Organized by body system, each section begins with a general framework covering clinical...

Red Book 2012: 2012 Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases (Red Book Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases)

Red Book 2012: 2012 Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases (Red Book Report of the Committee on Infectious Diseases)
by Larry K. Pickering MD FAAP (Editor), Baker (Editor), David W. Kimberlin MD FAAP (Editor), Sarah S. Long MD FAAP (Editor)


Developed by the AAP Committee on Infectious Diseases in conjunction with the CDC, the FDA, and other leading institutions with contributions from hundreds of physicians nationwide, the newly revised and updated 2012 Red Book continues the tradition of excellence with the latest findings and clinical recommendations on the manifestations, etiology, epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of more than 200 childhood conditions.

Updated information and recommendations include:

- Standardized approach to disease prevention through immunizations, antimicrobial prophylaxis, and infection control practices have been updated throughout
- 2012 childhood and adolescent immunization schedules added
- Updated information on hypersensitivity reactions after...

© 2014 BrightSurf.com