Ciprofloxacin reduces the risk of hemolytic uremic syndrome in patients with Escherichia coli O104:H4-associated diarrhea
Whether antibiotic treatment in patients with enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC)-associated diarrhea influences the risk of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) has still to be elucidated.
Patients and methods
During the EHEC epidemic which occurred in northern Germany in spring 2011, 24 patients with E. coli O104:H4 infection were treated at our hospitals, 19 of whom developed HUS. The use of antibiotics before and after the onset of HUS was documented, and the outcome in patients with and without antibiotic treatment was evaluated.
Of the 24 patients with EHEC-associated diarrhea, seven received antibiotics before any signs of HUS were present (ciprofloxacin, cefotaxime, amoxicillin and/or metronidazole). Four of these seven patients (57 %) and 15 of the 17 patients (88 %) who were treated without antibiotics developed HUS (p = 0.12). Microbiological testing showed all E. coli O104:H4 to be extended-spectrum beta lactamase producers and thus susceptible only to fluoroquinolones, aminoglycosides and carbapenems. Two of the five patients (40 %) treated with ciprofloxacin and 17 of the 19 patients (89 %) treated without ciprofloxacin developed HUS (p = 0.043).
In our E. coli O104:H4-infected patients, treatment of diarrhea with antibiotics did not increase the risk of HUS. Significantly fewer patients treated with ciprofloxacin developed HUS than patients who did not receive ciprofloxacin.
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