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J Med Virol. 1983;12(1):51-9.

Haemolytic uraemic syndrome: evidence of multiple viral infections in a cluster of ten cases.


During July 1979, ten patients were admitted to the hospital with bloody diarrhoea followed by manifestations of haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS): acute microangiopathic haemolytic anaemia, intravascular coagulopathy, and impaired renal function. Ages ranged from 13 months to 58 yr, with only two patients more than 5 yr old. In a household that included seven children born to three sisters who married three brothers, six children required hospitalization for bloody diarrhoea and four developed HUS; the father of one case and the maternal grandmother also developed bloody diarrhoea. Echovirus type 11 was isolated from the pharyngeal secretions or faeces of all members of the household with bloody diarrhoea, with the exception of the grandmother. Picornavirus-like particles were seen by direct electron microscopy (E/M) in faeces from four other HUS patients and an adenovirus in one, but these viruses failed to replicate in cell cultures. Parvovirus-like particles were seen by E/M in faeces from six patients. Serological examination indicated recent infection with one or more enteroviruses (echovirus 11, coxsackieviruses A4, B2, B4) in nine cases. Combined viral studies revealed presumptive evidence of recent infection with two or more viruses in all of the patients with HUS. Stools were negative for bacterial pathogens including campylobacter, salmonella, shigella, and yersinia organisms. Only one of nine patients tested had circulating immune complexes. Our data support the concept that the pathology seen in HUS may be due to a Shwartzman-type reaction provoked by concurrent infection with two or more viral agents.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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