A Clostridium perfringens associated Foodborne Outbreak on a Campsite — Northern Taiwan, 2016

DOI: 10.6525/TEB.201801_34(1).0002

Hsin-I Huang1*, Wan-Chin Chen1, Hao-Hsin Wu2,Fang-Tzy Wu3, Hsiao-Lun Wei3

2018 Vol.34 NO.1

Correspondence Author: Hsin-I Huang1*

  • 1Preventive Medicine Office, Centers for Disease Control,Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan
  • 2Northern Regional Center, Centers for Disease Control,Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan
  • 3Center for Research, Diagnostics and Vaccine Development,Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare,Taiwan


On September 25, 2016, 57 college students were reported having acute diarrhea after a gathering event on a campsite in Northern Taiwan. We conducted an investigation to identify the etiology and associated factors. We identified and interviewed event attendees and collected information on foods consumed and symptoms through questionnaire. Of the 115 students interviewed, we identified 56 cases. The median incubation period was 11 hours (range: 7–35 hours). All event attendees ate boxed lunch at noon on September 24. Illness was associated with eating stir-fry vegetable (OR: 2.38; 95% CI: 1.025.54) and simmered bean curd (OR: 2.17; 95% CI: 1.034.60) at lunch according to the bivariate analysis. C. perfringens were isolated from stool specimens of two students, and the isolates were cpe-positive. Leftovers were culture negative so testing for C. perfringens was not performed. Based on the clinical manifestations, epidemiologic characteristics, and having isolates with same toxin type, we concluded that this outbreak was caused by C. perfringens. C. perfringens related foodborne disease is mostly self-limiting and resolves within 48 hours, thus frequently neglected. We suggest proper food heating and storage practices in food service establishments.