A bacteriological study of isolates from the oral cavity of patients with Kawasaki disease (KD), age-matched non-KD patients and healthy children, showed that over half the KD and control isolates had gram-positive, catalase-negative cocci. About 50% of these organisms were identified as viridans streptococci by means of an API Strep 20 kit. Further identification by fluorometric DNA-DNA hybridisation demonstrated that the predominant species were and each of which accounted for 25% of the isolates of viridans streptococci; 40% of viridans strains were unidentifiable; and and were minor components. Studies showed that insertion of culture supernates of most of the viridans streptococci increased capillary permeability and induced redness with swelling and occasional bleeding in rabbit skin. One-third of strains and one-fifth of the unidentified strains caused aggregation of human blood platelets, whereas and other strains had no such effect. The distribution of extracellular lipoteichoic acids and glucan produced in the presence of sucrose was also examined. There were no significant differences in the recovery rate of viridans streptococci forming these biologically active extracellular products between KD and control groups.


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