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Med J Aust. 1998 Jun 1;168(11):552-5.

Haemolytic-uraemic syndrome outbreak caused by Escherichia coli O111:H-: clinical outcomes.

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Department of Nephrology, Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide, SA.


In South Australia in 1995, we treated 20 children with haemolytic-uraemic syndrome associated with Escherichia coli O111:H-. The source of the outbreak was contaminated locally produced semi-dry fermented sausage (mettwurst). One child died of multiple haemorrhagic cerebral infarcts. Eighteen children required renal dialysis (for a median of 14 days); 12 months after discharge five still had significant impairment of renal function. Other major complications included colonic necrosis (3), cerebral haemorrhage/infarction (3), convulsions (4), and glucose intolerance (2). Although E. coli O111:H- has been associated with sporadic cases of haemolytic-uraemic syndrome, this was the first large outbreak reported in Australia.

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