Necrotising enterocolitis caused by Clostridium perfringens: a life‐threatening manifestation of a common foodborne infection

Harry N Walker, Kwee‐Chin Liew, Vicki Adams, Sarah Larcombe, Sonal S Nagra, Glenn Guest and Eugene Athan
Med J Aust 2020; 213 (3): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50568
Published online: 27 April 2020

A 40‐year‐old woman of Karen ethnicity presented with 5 days of generalised abdominal pain. The pain was worsening and associated with vomiting in the 12 hours preceding presentation. She had been constipated for 5 weeks. There was no diarrhoea, no blood or mucous in the stool and no haematemesis. There were no sick family, friends or colleagues and no recent travel. She had an omnivorous diet, which had not changed recently, and worked casually at a vegetable farm.

  • Harry N Walker1,2
  • Kwee‐Chin Liew1,3
  • Vicki Adams4
  • Sarah Larcombe4
  • Sonal S Nagra1
  • Glenn Guest1,5
  • Eugene Athan1,5

  • 1 Barwon Health, Geelong, VIC
  • 2 Dorevitch Pathology, Melbourne, VIC
  • 3 Australian Clinical Labs, Geelong, VIC
  • 4 Monash University, Melbourne, VIC
  • 5 Deakin University, Geelong, VIC


We thank staff at Australian Clinical Labs: Ancy Joseph, Owen Harris and Eddie Chan for their work coordinating and analysing microbiological specimens.

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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