Kawasaki disease: Rare children’s heart condition linked to interplay of fungi and gene mutations

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Kawasaki disease (KD) is the mostly common acquired heart disease in children. Untreated, roughly one-quarter of children with KD develop…balloon-like bulges of heart vessels…that may ultimately result in heart attacks…or sudden death.

Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine…have identified plausible gene variants that predispose some children to developing the disease.

“The finding is intriguing because this gene…encodes for a protein that…uniquely binds to proteins outside the cell that come from fungi. This may be a clue that fungal antigens could be one environmental trigger for the disease,” said Jane C. Burns, professor and director of the Kawasaki Disease Research Center at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

KD has a clear genetic link. It is most common in the U.S. among persons of Asian or African descent, but its genetics is complex and researchers have struggled to identify which gene variants and combinations cause some children to develop the disease.

Burns said the study, with its…use of whole , represents a new method for uncovering relevant gene variants in families affected by not just KD, but many other complex genetic diseases.

[The study can be found here.]

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Gene variant identified for Kawasaki disease susceptibility

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