E.coli O157 & Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome

Update: New hope with the drug Eculizumab (Soliris) for the treatment of STEC involved HUS

5th November 2023

Following an article in the Mail Online, of 21st October 2023 in the link below about using the drug Eculizumab (Also known as Soliris) for the treatment of STEC involved HUS we contacted Professor Richard Coward who is a Professor of renal medicine at the University of Bristol and a consultant paediatric nephrologist at Bristol Royal Hospital for Sick Children. He is also one of the study’s lead authors.

Professor Richard Coward’s reply was as follows:

“Our work is fundamental science and early. In it we use mouse models and human kidney cell models to show why the toxin (same one produced by E. coli O157) effects the kidney.

It is at least part due to it targeting a kidney specific cell called the podocyte and 'cellular cross-talk' with the blood vessels.

Our work shows that the complement pathway is activated and that blocking it early prevents disease.

I think what we don't know is how early this needs to be to stop the process.

I think this would be the next step (a trial with early complement inhibition) and also trying to identify ways of detecting early.

Our work also reiterated that the cellular receptor in this process is called Gb3 and this could be another way of treating (by blocking it).

I hope this is helpful”.

We appreciate this prompt reply from Professor Richard Coward. We would further like to thank all his colleagues that were involved in this work, which was funded by the Medical Research Council and Kidney Research UK. 

Thank you also to all those involved with the previous Eculizumab (Soliris) drugs trial that was unfortunately cancelled during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

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