ContentsSynopsisCodesLook ForDiagnostic PearlsDifferential Diagnosis & PitfallsBest TestsManagement PearlsTherapyReferences
Clostridium perfringens food poisoning
Print
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Clostridium perfringens food poisoning

Print Images (1)
Contributors: Neil Mendoza MD, Paritosh Prasad MD
Other Resources UpToDate PubMed

Synopsis

This is a type of bacterial food poisoning that results from ingestion of the spore-forming anaerobic gram positive bacillus Clostridium perfringens. This organism can be found in the environment (including in retail food).

Following ingestion of the pathogen, there is local infection of the gut with the subsequent production of toxin in the human intestine. Clostridium perfringens is further classified into 5 types (A-E), based on the expression of 4 toxins. One enterotoxin that has been frequently implicated in food poisoning outbreaks is the C. perfringens enterotoxin. The organisms that produce this toxin are usually type A.

Clostridium perfringens food poisoning has been associated with inadequately cooked meat, poultry, and legumes. Institutional outbreaks have also been reported.

After a median incubation period of 11 hours, patients develop acute watery, non-bloody diarrhea with mucus. Abdominal cramping is common. Vomiting, anorexia, and low-grade fever may be present occasionally. The usual duration of symptoms is 7-11 days.

Rarely, the disease can be much more severe. Hemorrhagic necrosis of the jejunum has been reported following infection with C. perfringens type A, although this rare condition has been more frequently associated with the enterotoxin of C. perfringens type C. Known as pigbel, C. perfringens-mediated enteritis necroticans of the jejunum is most commonly described in the developing setting but has also been reported in the United States in association with the consumption of "chitterlings" (pig intestines).

A variety of other enteric pathogens can cause a similar syndrome of watery diarrhea. Clinically, a definite diagnosis of C. perfringens food poisoning is not usually possible. The toxin can be identified in stool, but that test is not routinely available.

Treatment is symptomatic and focused on maintaining hydration.

Codes

ICD10CM:
A05.2 – Foodborne Clostridium perfringens [Clostridium welchii] intoxication

SNOMEDCT:
70014009 – Food poisoning due to Clostridium perfringens

Look For

Subscription Required

Diagnostic Pearls

Subscription Required

Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls

Best Tests

Subscription Required

Management Pearls

Subscription Required

Therapy

Subscription Required

References

Subscription Required

Last Updated: 02/23/2016
Copyright © 2019 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.
Clostridium perfringens food poisoning
Print 1 Images
Clostridium perfringens food poisoning : Abdominal cramp, Contaminated food exposure, Developed rapidly , Watery diarrhea
Copyright © 2019 VisualDx®. All rights reserved.