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Chapter: Modern Medical Toxicology: Food Poisons: Food Poisoning

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Clostridium perfringens - Clostridium Microbial Food Poisoning

Cl. welchii, Bacillus aerogenes capsulatus, B. phlegmonis emphysematosae.

Clostridium perfringens

Synonyms

Cl. welchii, Bacillus aerogenes capsulatus, B. phlegmonis emphysematosae.

Source

Clostridium perfringens is a ubiquitous organism whichcommonly contaminates meat products and poultry.

Toxins

Food poisoning is caused mainly by some strains of Type A, while necrotising enteritis is caused by Type C strains. The former produce alpha and theta toxins, and a heat-labile entero-toxin, while the latter produce mainly beta toxin.

Incubation Period

About 8 to 24 hours.

Clinical Features

·              Abdominal pain, diarrhoea, vomiting. The disease is usually self-limiting, lasting for 12 to 48 hours. Necrotising enteritis is characterised by more severe manifestations and is often fatal.

·              Systemic distribution of Cl. perfringens type A, and its toxins, has been suggested as a possible cause of sudden infant death syndrome in immunologically compromised infants.

Treatment

·              Supportive measures.

 

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