A role for fosfomycin treatment in children for prevention of haemolytic-uraemic syndrome accompanying Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli infection

Hitoshi Tajiri, Junichiro Nishi, Kosuke Ushijima, Toshiaki Shimizu, Takashi Ishige, Masaki Shimizu, Hideo Tanaka, Stephen Brooks
International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents 2015, 46 (5): 586-9
The role of antimicrobial therapy for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) infection has not been clearly defined. A prospective study identified antibiotic use as a significant risk factor for subsequent development of haemolytic-uraemic syndrome (HUS). However, early treatment with fosfomycin, a bacteriostatic antibiotic, resulted in a significantly decreased risk of HUS. The aim of this study was to evaluate a role of fosfomycin therapy in the development of HUS in children who contracted STEC infection. The study included 118 children who contracted a STEC infection between 1997 and 2013. A pre-defined questionnaire was utilised to collect patient information regarding age, sex, presenting symptoms (fever, abdominal pain, diarrhoea and bloody stool), results of stool culture examination, initial results of white blood cell counts and C-reactive protein (CRP), use of antibiotics, the timing of introduction of antibiotics, and complications including HUS. Of the 118 patients, 64 were diagnosed with HUS and the remaining 54 did not develop HUS. Multivariate analysis showed that three independent factors (age, initial values of CRP and use of fosfomycin) were significantly associated with the occurrence of HUS; of particular note, the adjusted odds ratio for use of fosfomycin was 0.15 (95% confidence interval 0.05-0.45). Use of fosfomycin within the first 5 days of illness may decrease the development of STEC-related HUS in children.

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