Researchers are developing and testing monoclonal antibodies to treat STEC infection, thus preventing hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) from developing. Investigators are further defining the ways by which the Shiga toxins produced by STEC result in the kidney damage leading to HUS. (HUS, a serious complication of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, can lead to kidney failure.) The primary goal of this research is to better understand how kidney disease progresses. Researchers are developing antitoxins that may help prevent HUS from developing in infected children.
NIAID-supported scientists discovered that children with bloody diarrhea should not be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotics can lead to the release of more bacterial toxins and increase kidney damage, including subsequent HUS.