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Lancet. 1976 Jan 17;1(7951):125-6.

Pathogenesis of enteritis necroticans in Papula New Guinea.


It is suggested that enteritis necroticans occurs in the people of the Highlands of Papua New Guinea because they have low levels of digestive proteases in the intestinal lumen. These low protease levels are the result of a low-protein diet and the presence of heat-stable trypsin inhibitors in sweet potatato, the dietary staple. Low proteolytic activity allows the B toxin of Clostridium welchii type C, which is extremely susceptible to proteolysis, to initiate the disease.

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