BPSU - Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome

Surveillance of haemolytic uraemic syndrome in UK and Irish children under the age of 16 began in October 2011. Together with the national surveillance system for Escherichia coli (VTEC), will seek to identify the factors associated with an increased risk of developing HUS.

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Dr Adak.jpg

Lead investigator

Dr Bob Adak
Head of Gastrointestinal Infections, GEZI
Public Health England
61 Colindale Avenue

Email: bob.adak@phe.gov.uk


  • Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome (HUS) is a rare, but occasionally fatal, condition that can develop after a gastrointestinal infection by a Verocytotoxin-producing strain of Escherichia coli (VTEC). 
  • The peak of incidence is in children (<5 years of age), the most susceptible age group. A previous BPSU study was conducted between 1997 and 2001 when there were 413 cases reported, 330 of which were VTEC related.
  • This study aims to measure the incidence of HUS in the UK and Ireland, and describe clinical and demographic features. By comparing the results from this study to that of the previous BPSU study any changes in this epidemiology will be apparent.
  • The one-year follow-up will provide useful information on the outcomes of illness. By linking cases reported through this study to the national surveillance system for VTEC, we will seek to identify factors associated with an increased risk of developing HUS, in the hope that we might, in the future, be in a position to prevent at risk children from developing HUS after a VTEC infection.

Case definition: Any child up to and including 15 years of age who, during the last month, has been diagnosed with haemolytic uraemic syndrome in the UK or Republic of Ireland. Data for cases in Scotland will be collected through the Health Protection Scotland HUS/TMA Enhanced Surveillance.

Reporting instructions:

England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland: Please repory any child up to and including 15 years of age that you have seen for the first time in the last month and who has been diagnosed with HUS.

Please do not report children who have:

  • septicaemia
  • malignant hypertension
  • chronic uraemia
  • primary vascular disease

Scotland: Please report cases of HUS to Health Protection Scotland as normal. Data from the Health Protection Scotland HUS/TMA Enhanced Surveillance will be used in this study.

Duration: October 2011 - October 2014 (39 months). A follow-up questionnaire will be issued one year after the case is reported.

Funding: Public Health England

Ethical approval: This study has been approved by London – Camberwell St Giles REC (Ref: 11/LO/1412). As of October 2010, HUS is a statutory reportable condition and this study falls under the existing Health Protection Agency permissions under the Section 251 of the NHS Act 2006.

Study Contact Details: If you would like any advice regarding the eligibility of a particular case for inclusion in the study please contact Naomi Launders (email naomi.launders@phe.gov.uk telephone 020 8327 6193).

Further information

Useful link