Kidney failure threat

Red blood cells damaged by inflammation caused by food poisoning.A protein that helps keep immune system cells from mistakenly swallowing and destroying healthy cells has been linked to an inherited disorder with symptoms similar to severe food poisoning, according to researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine and the University of Newcastle in the United Kingdom. John Atkinson, M.D., the Samuel Grant Professor of Medicine at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, says the results make it possible to genetically screen patients for one form of atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a rare but potentially life-threatening condition linked to excessive cell damage, blood clots and kidney failure. Normal HUS, often in the headlines because of food-related outbreaks, is caused by consumption of a toxic form of the bacteria E. coli.