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Open Access Case report

Haemolytic uremic syndrome following fire ant bites

Yi-Che Lee12, Jyh-Seng Wang3, Jeng-Chuan Shiang4, Ming-Kai Tsai4, Kai-Tai Deng1, Min-Yu Chang1, Hsi-Hao Wang1, Li-Chun Ho12, Yi-Ting Chen1 and Shih-Yuan Hung1*

Author Affiliations

1 Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, E-Da Hospital/ I-Shou University, No.1, Yida Rd., Yanchao Dist., Kaohsiung City 824, Taiwan

2 Institute of Clinical Medicine, National Cheng Kung University Medical, Tainan, Taiwan

3 Department of Pathology, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

4 Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, Kaohsiung Armed Forces General Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

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BMC Nephrology 2014, 15:5  doi:10.1186/1471-2369-15-5

Published: 8 January 2014

Abstract

Background

Haemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS) is a severe, life-threatening disease with symptoms such as haemolytic anaemia, renal failure, and a low platelet count. Possible aetiology includes bacterial infections, medication, post-hematopoietic cell transplantation, pregnancy, autoimmune disease, and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.

Case presentation

We report the case of a 21-year-old healthy man who developed acute renal failure caused by HUS. Typical symptoms of HUS combined with severe uraemia developed following a large local reaction after suspected Solenopsis invicta (fire ant) bites. He was successfully treated with plasma exchange and achieved complete recovery of renal function.

Conclusion

This is the first case illustrating a serious systemic reaction of HUS to fire ant bites, and highlights this severe complication in patients who sustain fire ant bites.

Keywords:
Fire ant; Haemolytic-uremic syndrome; Plasma exchange; Renal failure; Venomous insects