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Muehlen, Sabrina; Ramming, Isabell; Pils, Marina C.; Koeppel, Martin; Glaser, Jana; Leong, John; Flieger, Antje; Stecher, Baerbel and Dersch, Petra (2020): Identification of Antibiotics That Diminish Disease in a Murine Model of Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli Infection. In: Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, Vol. 64, No. 4, e02159-19

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Infections with enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) cause disease ranging from mild diarrhea to hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) and are the most common cause of renal failure in children in high-income countries. The severity of the disease derives from the release of Shiga toxins (Stx). The use of antibiotics to treat EHEC infections is generally avoided, as it can result in increased stx expression. Here, we systematically tested different classes of antibiotics and found that their influence on stx expression and release varies significantly. We assessed a selection of these antibiotics in vivo using the Citrobacter rodentium phi Stx(2dact) mouse model and show that stx(2d)-inducing antibiotics resulted in weight loss and kidney damage despite clearance of the infection. However, several non-Stx-inducing antibiotics cleared bacterial infection without causing Stx-mediated pathology. Our results suggest that these antibiotics might be useful in the treatment of EHEC-infected human patients and decrease the risk of HUS development.

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