Epidemiology and Pathogen Profile of Kawasaki Disease from a Single Center in China, 2018-2020

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Liping Yuan, Qilian Zhou, Bo Yan, Huan Li, Hongyuan Xiao


Background: It has been reported that the infections have played an importantrole in the pathogenesis for pediatric rheumatic diseases. The COVID-19 had  the impact on the frequency of these diseases and led to a remarkable decreaseof them, which confirmed the role of infections in these diseases.

Objectives: To investigate the epidemiologic characteristics and pathogen profile of Kawasaki disease(KD) from a single center in China from 2018 to 2020 during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic period.

Methods: We retrospectively analyzed the medical record of KD patients hospitalized in our department during 2018-2020, including clinical features, seasonal variation, pathogens and cardiac complications.

Results:  During the COVID-19 pandemic, the proportion of KD patients was markedly lower in 2020 than in 2018 and 2019. The proportion of KD children (1-5 years) was decreased compared with KD infants (age <1 year), suggesting an obvious increase in the proportion of KD infants from 2018 to 2020.  Moreover, the proportions of KD infants aged <1 year differed significantly between 2020 and 2018 (30% vs. 15%, P<0.01). The number of incomplete KD patients was remarkably different among the three years. In addition, mycoplasma infection (MP) is the most common pathogen in KD children. There was a significant correlation between MP infection and KD.

Conclusions: The annual number of KD patients decreased from 2018 to 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. On the contrary, the number of incomplete KD patients and the proportion of KD infants increased annually. Additionally, our findings indicated the likelihood that MP might lead to the development of KD.

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