Gastroenterology

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Toxigenic E. coli: Antibiotics Linked to Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome

KEY POINT

Antibiotic treatment of children who have diarrhea caused by Escherichia coli O157:H7 increases their risk of developing hemolytic-uremic syndrome. Based on this finding, empiric therapy of children with diarhhea using trimethoprim–sulfamethoxazole, amoxicillin, cephalosporins, or other anti-infective agents should be withheld pending results of a stool culture that indicate the organism can be appropriately treated with antibiotics.

SOURCES

Wong CS et al. The risk of hemolytic-uremic syndrome after antibiotic treatment of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections. N Engl J Med. In press.