Background: The Haemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) is the most severe manifestation of infection with Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC). In Belgium, the surveillance of paediatric HUS cases is conducted by a sentinel surveillance network of paediatricians called Pedisurv. In this article, we present the main findings of this surveillance from 2009 to 2015 and we describe an annual incidence of HUS.

Methods: For each case of HUS <  15 years notified by the paediatricians, clinical, microbiological and epidemiological data were collected by a questionnaire. National hospital discharge data with ICD-9 code 283.11 were used to calculate the incidence of HUS in children < 15 years.

Results: From 2009 to 2015, 110 cases were notified to the Pedisurv network with a mean annual notification rate of 0.8/100,000 in children < 15 years. Death occurred in 2.5% of all patients and the median number of days of hospitalization was 10 days. One third (35.4%) of the HUS cases were confirmed positive STEC, with a majority of STEC O157. The mean annual incidence based on the hospital discharge data was 3.2/100,000 in children < 15 years and 4.5/100,000 in children < 5 years.

Conclusion: The incidence of paediatric HUS in Belgium is high compared to other European countries. Its surveillance in Belgium is quite comprehensive and, although less effective than monitoring all STEC infections to detect the emergence of outbreaks, is important to better monitor circulation of the most pathogenic STEC strains. In this context, efforts are still needed to send samples and STEC strains from HUS cases to the National Reference Centre.

Original languageEnglish
Article number41
Pages (from-to)41-41
Number of pages1
JournalArchives of Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2018

    Research areas

  • Belgium, Haemolytic uremic syndrome, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, Surveillance

ID: 40293516