ENTERITIS NECROTICANS AMONG KHMER CHILDREN AT AN EVACUATION SITE IN THAILAND

Stuart Johnson, David N. Taylor, Rudi Coninx, Boonchuay Eampokalap, Robin A. Cooke, Peter Echeverria, Sakti R. Paul, Jun Sakurai, Prasarn Jimakorn, Gregor W. Lawrence, Peter D. Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A severe illness characterised by bloody diarrhoea and intestinal dysfunction was recognised at an evacuation site on the Thai-Kampuchean border. From June, 1985, to July, 1986, the illness occurred in 62 Khmer children aged 10 months to 10 years (mean 4 years); it was characterised by bloody diarrhoea (94%), fever (90%), and abdominal pain (78%). The overall mortality rate was 58%. Among 16 children who died and underwent necropsy, small-intestinal necrosis of varying severity was found; in 5 of these children small-intestinal lesions with areas of full-thickness necrosis were seen that histologically resembled those in cases of enteritis necroticans (pigbel) in Papua New Guinea. Beta-toxin-producing Clostridium perfringens type C was isolated from 2 of 23 children from whom specimens for anaerobic cultures were collected, and antibodies to beta toxin were detected in 5 of 9 survivors but not in 10 healthy, age-matched control children. These cases show that enteritis necroticans can cause substantial morbidity and mortality outside Papua New Guinea.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)496-500
Number of pages5
JournalThe Lancet
Volume330
Issue number8557
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 29 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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