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Acta Clin Belg. 2009 Jan-Feb;64(1):59-64.

First sorbitol-fermenting Verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli O157: H- isolated in Belgium.

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Department of Microbiology, (Belgian VTEC Reference Laboratory), Universitair Ziekenhuis Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.


We report a case of haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) following an infection with a sorbitol-fermenting Verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC) O157:H- in a toddler living in the province of East Flanders, Belgium. The patient presented with haemolytic anaemia, haematuria, proteinuria, renal insufficiency, and thrombocytopaenia leading to the diagnosis of HUS. Risk factors for VTEC infection, such as consuming undercooked food of bovine origin and direct contact with farm animals were absent. Also, neither travelling nor contact with travellers were reported. The patient recovered after perfusion with fresh frozen plasma and blood transfusion, and dialysis was not required. This is the first isolation of a sorbitol-fermenting VTEC O157:H- in Belgium. Future research is needed to reveal epidemiologic aspects, such as the main reservoir and transmission routes of this pathogenic E. coli serotype, which has caused outbreaks of HUS in Germany and Scotland.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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