Clostridial necrotizing enteritis

Clostridial Necrotizing Enteritis

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Clostridial necrotizing enteritis

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Description:


Clostridial necrotizing enteritis (CNE) -- also called enteritis necroticans and pigbel -- is an often fatal type of food poisoning caused by a β-toxin of Clostridium perfringens, Type C. It occurs in some developing countries, but was also documented in Germany following World War II. The toxin is normally inactivated by certain proteolytic enzymes and by normal cooking, but when these protections are impeded, the disease emerges.

Etiology

All the factors collectively causing CNE are generally only present in the hinterlands of New Guinea and parts of Africa, Latin America, and Asia. These factors include protein deprivation (causing inadequate synthesis of trypsin protease (an enzyme), to which the toxin is very sensitive), poor food hygiene, episodic meat feasting, staple diets containing trypsin inhibitors (sweet potatoes), and infection by Ascaris parasites which secrete a trypsin inhibitor. In New Guinea (origin of the term “pigbel”), the disease is usually spread through contaminated meat (especially pork) and perhaps by peanuts. (CNE was also diagnosed in post WWII Germany, where it was known as Darmbrand or "fire bowels").

Clinical aspects

CNE is a necrotizing inflammation of the small bowel (especially the jejunum but also the ileum). Clinical results may vary from mild diarrhea to a life-threatening sequence of...
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