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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Non-E. coli O157:H7 Serotypes linked to Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS)

I was reading recently an article in the European Journal of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases by R. J. Pomajz, M. Varman, A. Holst and A. Chen entitled, Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) incidence and etiologies at a regional Children’s Hospital in 2001–2006. Here is the abstract:

Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is a serious health concern in children. HUS has primarily been linked to Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections, but non-O157 strains are gaining attention. Hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, and acute renal failure are the characteristics of the syndrome. This study investigated the incidence of HUS at a regional Children’s Hospital between 2001 and 2006 by retrospective review. Cases of HUS were investigated for outcomes based on stool culture and an association of acute pancreatitis. A total of 44 cases were identified, of which 57% were female and 43% were male, with an age distribution of 13 months to 17 years and a median age of 3.44 years. Data revealed 13 cases in 2006 compared to two cases in 2001, with 84% of all illnesses occurring in the summer and fall seasons. The median duration of thrombocytopenia was eight days and 50% of all cases required dialysis. E. coli O157:H7 was the predominant pathogen; however, 53% of the cases had unknown etiology. This data may suggest a growing number of cases from 2001 to 2006 and a role for agents other than E. coli O157:H7. E. coli O157:H7 caused longer intensive care unit (ICU) stay. No association between HUS and acute pancreatitis was found.

In addition, the article itself noted: “An increasing number of reports show E. coli of the non-O157 serotypes as the causative agent in developing HUS. Some non-O157 serotypes that have been associated with HUS include O26, O103, O111” and others.

  • Ken

    Earliest case 13 month, median age 3.44 yrs. What this suggests to me is that as a parent you don’t want to feed children under four any meat product that hasn’t been retorted {canned}(and cooking their fresh veggies is probably a good idea as well)
    I’m pretty sure Bill will tell you that he’s never gotten a settlement that was equal to the loss of a child. Meat Inc might be liable later legally but that’s cold comfort.