HLA antigens were evaluated in 27 patients with mucocutaneous lymph node symdrome (Kawasaki disease) in the Boston area. In contrast to previous Japanese studies, no incidence of HLA-Bw22 was found. A significant increase (P .002), however, in HLA-Bw51 was found in the patients with mucocutaneous lymph node syndrome as compared to an appropriate control population. To our knowledge, this is only the second disease associated with HLA-B5 specificity. The observations illustrate the lack of unified genetic predisposition for a disease in two ethnic groups, white and Japanese. Such findings may have genetic implications regarding interhuman variation in immune responsiveness.

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