Certain strains of Escherichia coli producing verotoxin have been isolated in the stools of patients with the haemolytic uraemic syndrome. A platelet aggregating activity has been found in normal plasma after incubation with verotoxin at 37 degrees C for 24 h. This activity, unlike neuraminidase, has an effect that is independent of changing factor VIII related antigen, but requires the IIA and IIIB platelet surface glycoprotein (deficient in thrombasthenia) to mediate its effect. Prostacyclin totally inhibited this effect, but other antiplatelet drugs and heparin were without inhibitory effects.
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