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Consumption of foods, water, vegetables, fruits, undercooked/ground/raw meat, unpasteurized milk or milk products contaminated with the bacterium strain Escherichia coli 0157:H7 has become a serious public health concern. This strain naturally inhabits the digestive tract of healthy cattle, and is released into the environment through the faeces of the animal. This strain cause haemorrhagic enterocolitis or gastroenteritis, and then haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS). HUS is a disorder characterised by haemolytic anaemia, low platelet count and acute kidney failure, and this disorder is a consequence of the production and action of Shiga-like toxin produced mainly by this bacterial strain (accounting for 90 percent of all cases), and occurs mainly in children less than five (5) years of age, but also occurs in the elderly. After infection with this bacterial strain, the disorder begins with intestinal perforation and ulceration leading to bloody diarrhoea, and consequently acute kidney injury, thrombocytopenia and microangiopathic haemolytic anaemia. In conjunction with clinical manifestations, several laboratory investigations (haematological, biochemical and microbiological assays) are implicated in the diagnosis of HUS. There is currently no specific treatment for HUS; however, supportive care (such as treatment of hypertension, fluid and electrolyte imbalance, haemodialysis, blood transfusion, etc) happens to be the only ameliorative measure for this disorder.
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