Drug Treats E. coli-Related Neurological Complications

December 20, 2011

1 Min Read
Drug Treats E. coli-Related Neurological Complications

MONTREALDoctors at Sainte Justine University Hospital Center (Sainte-Justine UHC) were the first to use the drug eculizumab to successfully treat a 3-year-old child admitted to the hospital who was suffering severe E. coli-related neurological complications. The new use of the medication may lead to promising new treatments, according to the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

After exhausting all options, Dr. Anne-Laure Lapeyraque chose to use eculizumab, which is usually prescribed for another disorder with similar symptoms. Intuition paid off, and the child survived.

At the time, there was no recognized treatment to cure the hemolytic and uremic syndrome, a severe complications associated with E. coli infections," Lapeyraque said.Successful use of this medication in these children has opened our eyes to a promising new treatment."

According to the researchers, within a few days to weeks, their blood counts returned to normal and their kidneys recovered. Eculizumab, a drug known as a monoclonal antibody, acts by blocking a substance in the immune system known as complement protein C5.

Once the new drug application had been discovered, intravenous eculizumab therapy was used to save the lives of a large number of people.

Our report was published during the massive E. coli outbreak in May and June in Germany, which allowed us to break the news and alert physicians," Lapeyraque said.. During the outbreak, about 4,000 people in Europe fell ill by eating contaminated sprouts.

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