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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume 14, Issue 6, Pages 339-343
Case Report

Invasive Streptococcus pneumoniae Infection Causing Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome in Children: Two Recent Cases

Otto G Vanderkooi,1,2 James D Kellner,1,2 Andrew W Wade,1,2 Tajdin Jadavji,1,2 Julian P Midgley,1,2 Thomas Louie,2 and Gregory J Tyrrell3

1Alberta Children’s Hospital, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
2University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
3National Centre for Streptococcus, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Received 1 May 2003; Accepted 12 September 2003

Copyright © 2003 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


INTRODUCTION: Streptococcus pneumoniae is an uncommon cause of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) with a unique pathophysiology that differs from Shiga toxin-related HUS.

METHODS: Case descriptions for each patient are provided. Each strain of S pneumoniae was subjected to a pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis, Shiga toxin assay and polymerase chain reaction to detect Shiga toxin genes. A review of the current literature was conducted.

CASE PRESENTATIONS: Two patients with S pneumoniae-related HUS that presented to the Alberta Children's Hospital, Calgary, Alberta, within four weeks of each other in 2001 are described. Both presented with pneumonia and empyema with associated HUS. Both patients required dialysis, one patient for 10 days and the other for 18 days. Neither patient demonstrated evidence of Shiga toxin-related disease. S pneumoniae isolated from blood or pleural fluid was penicillin susceptible. One isolate was serotype 3 and the other was serotype 14. The two strains had different PFGE patterns. Both patients recovered well with no persistent renal dysfunction.

CONCLUSIONS: S pneumoniae continues to be an uncommon but important cause of HUS. Most cases can be confirmed or at least considered probable without performing a renal biopsy.