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Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2008 Feb;6(1):101-8. doi: 10.1586/14787210.6.1.101.

Prevention and treatment of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli infections in humans.

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Department of Hygiene, Microbiology and Social Medicine, Innsbruck Medical University and Austrian Reference Centre for Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli, Schöpfstr. 41, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria.


Infections with enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) result in various clinical symptoms and outcomes ranging from watery or bloody diarrhea to the life-threatening hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). Shiga toxins (Stxs) are supposed to play a major role in the pathogenesis of EHEC infections; however, the role of other putative virulence factors is not fully elucidated. So far, there is only supportive therapy available for the treatment of both EHEC-associated diarrhea and HUS. Antibiotic therapy for the treatment of EHEC-associated diarrhea is discussed. In recent years other therapeutic strategies have been developed, including Gb3 receptor analogues, that bind Stx in the gut or in the circulation, passive immunization with Stx-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies, or active immunization with Stx1 And Stx2 toxoids as a preventive procedure. These approaches have been demonstrated to be effective in animal models but clinical trials are lacking.

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