Open Access Open Badges 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

For all author emails, please log on.

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

Published: 8 January 2014



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.


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.

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