Inflammatory mediators in Escherichia coli O157:H7 hemorrhagic colitis and hemolytic-uremic syndrome

François Proulx, Jean P. Turgeon, Catherine Litalien, Michele M. Mariscalco, Pierre Robitaille, Ernest Seidman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Background. Recent experimental data suggest that the inflammatory response of the host to vetotoxin and/or lipopolysaccharides of Escherichia coli is involved in the pathophysiology of verotoxin-producing E. coli (VTEC) infections. Methods. We measured the circulating concentrations of cytokines [TNF-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1-beta, IL-1 receptor antagonist (Ra), IL-6, IL- 8, IL-10] and soluble leukocyte adhesion molecules (L-selectin, P-selectin, E-selectin, intracellular cell adhesion molecule-I, vascular cell adhesion molecules-1) by sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay among (1) normal controls (n = 12), (2) disease controls with hemorrhagic colitis (HC) not associated with VTEC infections (n = 57), (3) patients with uncomplicated HC caused by E. coli O157:H7 (n = 30), and (4) children with hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) (n = 28). Patients with HUS were matched with children who presented an uncomplicated HC caused by E. coli 0157:H7 for the time interval elapsed between the onset of HC and that of blood sample collection. Results. Concentrations of TNF-alpha and IL-1-beta were undetectable. Children with HUS were characterized by increased amounts of IL-6 and IL-8, lower values of soluble L-selectin as well as increased levels of IL-10 and IL-1Ra. The circulating concentrations of IL-1Ra were higher among children with O157:H7 HC who subsequently developed HUS. Conclusions. Increased pro- and antiinflammatory cytokine responses are produced by the host during the development of HUS among children with VTEC infections. Further studies are needed to determine their relative contribution to the pathophysiology of classic HUS.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)899-904
    Number of pages6
    JournalPediatric Infectious Disease Journal
    Issue number10
    StatePublished - Nov 17 1998


    • Cell adhesion molecules
    • Colitis
    • Escherichia coli infections
    • Hemolytic uremic syndrome
    • Interleukins
    • Pediatrics

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
    • Microbiology (medical)
    • Infectious Diseases


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