Research by scientists in Australia could help open up new possibilities to treat enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) infections.
University of New South Wales (UNSW) microbiologists discovered a molecular pathway that controls Shiga toxin production. The findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
EHEC is a foodborne pathogen that releases Shiga toxins during infection and can result in a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. It is also known as Shiga toxin producing E. coli (STEC). Children younger than five years of age and older people are at highest risk of developing infections.
Antibiotics not recommended
Jai Tree, senior author of the study, said findings were important because there is no commercially available treatment for EHEC infections.
“Antibiotic treatment of these infections is generally not recommended because antibiotics stimulate production of the Shiga toxin, leading to an increased risk of kidney failure, … Read more