An infection happens when an abnormal type or too many bacteria or virus enters the body. Certain infections commonly harm the kidneys. The following kidney conditions are related to infections:


Glomerulonephritis, sometimes called glomerular disease, involves damage to the tiny filters in the kidneys, called glomeruli. Glomerulonephritis can happen suddenly or slowly over time. Some causes of glomerulonephritis are streptococci bacteria (the bacteria that causes strep throat), bacterial infection of the heart, and viral infections like HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Learn more about glomerulonephritis.

Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS)

Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) in children is usually caused by infection with the E. coli bacteria, and less commonly is caused by other bacteria and viruses. HUS destroys red blood cells, which block the kidneys’ filters, leading to kidney damage and failure.

HUS caused by E. coli is the leading cause of acute or sudden kidney failure in children. The National Institute of Health (NIH) estimates about 2 out of every 100,000 children gets HUS. Learn more about HUS.

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