Dear Mr Makino, Dear Colleague,
In May of this year, Germany was hit by an EHEC epidemic that posed an enormous challenge to the medical community and health policymakers alike. The EHEC bacterium O104:H4 proved to be a tenacious and aggressive pathogen that induced a haemolytic uraemic syndrome (HUS) in 860 of the more than 3,000 patients affected. At the time of the outbreak, the EHEC strain and the source of the infection were unknown, and the frequency and severity of the complications that arose took us all by surprise. No evidence-based data were available on HUS therapy in adult patients, and treatment was ultimately performed as attempts at "rescue therapy". However, the huge uncertainty that prevailed during the first few days gave way to a joint effort on the part of all involved - the sequencing that was achieved in record time, the efficient work carried out by the Robert Koch Institute and by the public health authorities, and the structured work of the German Society of Nephrology (DGfN), which immediately founded a EHEC/HUS registry, gained a high level of respect and recognition both domestically and internationally.
We would now like to share the experience gained from this epidemic in a scientific EHEC-HUS symposium. Internationally renowned experts will discuss the interdisciplinary principles and diagnosis of EHEC infections and the various options for treating EHEC-associated HUS. Initial analyses of the DGfN clinical register will also be presented.
We would also like to welcome numerous participants from your Society to this first EHEC-HUS symposium. You are therefore kindly asked to post the invitation flyer on your Society's website and also to send it as information to your members in a corresponding e-mail.
Many thanks for your support!
We hope that as many of your society will attend the symposium and take an active part in the discussions!
Prof. Dr. R. Brunkhorst