Escherichia coli 0157:H7 and the hemolytic uremic syndrome: Importance of early cultures in establishing the etiology

Phillip I. Tarr, Marguerite A. Neill, Carla R. Clausen, Sandra L. Watkins, Dennis L. Christie, Robert O. Hickman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

188 Scopus citations

Abstract

Fifty-two patients were studied prospectively to determine the etiology of postdiarrheal hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Escherichia coli 0157:H7 was isolated from 33 patients (63.4%). If stool obtained within 2 days of the onset of diarrhea was cultured for E. coli 0157:H7, the recovery rate was 100%. This rate decreased to 91.7% and 33.3% if stool was cultured for this pathogen 3–6 or ≥ 7 days, respectively, after diarrhea began. The culture-positive group was more likely to have had bloody diarrhea and fecal leukocytes and to have received transfusions than the culture-negative group but was otherwise similar in clinical characteristics. E. coli 0157:H7 is the predominant pathogen associated with HUS in western Washington. Recovery ofthis pathogen is highly dependent on obtaining stool cultures within 6 days of onset of diarrhea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-556
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Volume162
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1990
Externally publishedYes

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