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Microorganisms 2018, 6(4), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms6040111

Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli Infections during Pregnancy

1
Laboratorio de Fisiopatogenia, Instituto de Fisiología y Biofísica Bernardo Houssay (IFIBIO Houssay-CONICET), Departamento de Fisiología, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Paraguay 2155, Buenos Aires 1121, Argentina
2
Laboratorio de Hematología, Hospital Universitario Austral, Pilar, Buenos Aires 1629, Argentina
3
CEFYBO-CONICET, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires 1121, Argentina
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 September 2018 / Revised: 17 October 2018 / Accepted: 19 October 2018 / Published: 23 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pathogenesis of Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli)
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Abstract

Gastrointestinal infection with Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) causes diarrhea, hemorrhagic colitis, and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), characterized by hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia and acute renal failure. The main virulence factor of STEC is Shiga toxin (Stx), which is responsible for HUS development. STEC can produce Stx type 1 and/or 2 (Stx1, Stx2) and their variants, Stx2 being more frequently associated with severe cases of HUS. This pathology occurs in 5–15% of cases with STEC infection when Stx gain access to the bloodstream and causes damage in the target organs such as the kidney and brain. STEC infections affect mainly young children, although the large HUS outbreak with a new Stx2-producing STEC O104:H4 in Europe in 2011 involved more adults than children, and women were over-represented. Maternal infections during pregnancy are associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes. Studies in rats showed that Stx2 binds to the utero-placental unit and causes adverse pregnancy outcomes. In this article, we provide a brief overview of Stx2 action on placental tissues and discuss whether they might cause pregnancy loss or preterm birth. View Full-Text
Keywords: STEC infections; pregnancy; Shiga toxin; prevention STEC infections; pregnancy; Shiga toxin; prevention
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Sacerdoti, F.; Scalise, M.L.; Burdet, J.; Amaral, M.M.; Franchi, A.M.; Ibarra, C. Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli Infections during Pregnancy. Microorganisms 2018, 6, 111.

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