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Research Article

Undescribed toxin in pseudomembranous colitis.

Br Med J 1977; 1 doi: (Published 14 May 1977) Cite this as: Br Med J 1977;1:1246
  1. H E Larson,
  2. J V Parry,
  3. A B Price,
  4. D R Davies,
  5. J Dolby,
  6. D A Tyrrell


    A girl aged 12 developed pseudomembranous colitis after a short course of oral penicillin. She had no history of adverse reaction to penicillin before or after the illness. No pathogenic bacteria, mycoplasmas, or viruses were found in her faeces, but they did contain a toxin. Toxin was also found in four of five other patients with pseudomembranous colitis but not in six specimens obtained from patients with diarrhoea caused by other disorders. Further studies may show that pseudomembranous colitis is caused by a bacterial toxin.