BPSU study - Haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS)

Surveillance of haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) in British and Irish children under the age of 16 concluded in October 2014.

A paper has now been published in the BMJ Paediatrics Open journal. Link to the abstract can be found below.

Lead investigator

Dr Bob Adak
Public Health England
61 Colindale Avenue
London NW9 5EQ
Email: bob.adak@phe.gov.uk

About the study


Haemolytic uraemic syndrome 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 (less than five years of age), the most susceptible age group. A previous British Paediatric Surveillance Unit (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 be in a position to prevent at risk children from developing HUS after a VTEC infection.

You can download the protocol card, including references, below.

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 Ireland. Data for cases in Scotland will be collected through the Health Protection Scotland HUS/TMA Enhanced Surveillance.

Published Papers


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


Public Health England.


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.