Journal Article

Shiga Toxin—Producing <i>Escherichia coli</i> Infection

Cheleste M. Thorpe

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 38, issue 9, pages 1298-1303
Published in print May 2004 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online May 2004 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI:
Shiga Toxin—Producing Escherichia coli Infection

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Large-scale outbreaks of Shiga toxin—producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infection have revealed the great disease-causing potential of this organism, especially among children and elderly persons. Approximately 5%–10% of people with STEC infection will develop hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), ∼10% of those who develop HUS will die or have permanent renal failure, and up to 50% of those who develop HUS will develop some degree of renal impairment. Important concepts in understanding the pathogenesis and prevention of STEC-associated HUS are emerging, although no specific therapy yet exists. Optimal management of STEC infection includes intravenous hydration, avoidance of antimotility agents and antimicrobials, and monitoring for sequelae. Antimicrobials may have a potentially harmful role, possibly by inducing intestinal production of Shiga toxin during the diarrheal phase of illness. A recent clinical trial evaluating an intraluminal Shiga toxin—binding agent to ameliorate HUS showed no improvement in outcome. Interventions to prevent HUS from developing in STEC-infected children are under investigation. Prevention of exposure to STEC remains important, and animal vaccines to prevent stool shedding of STEC among food animals are in development.

Journal Article.  4413 words. 

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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