a1 Department of Public Health, Kundiawa, New Guinea
a2 Department of Agriculture, Stock and Fisheries, Konedobu, Papua
a3 Wellcome Research Laboratories, Beckenham, Kent, United Kingdom
1. Features in the epidemiology of a spontaneous enteric gangrene in the Highlands of New Guinea are described.
2. The disease has been called pig-bel because of its firm association with the pig-feasting practices of the people, which occur in 3–7 year cycles.
3. Cl. welchii type C is believed to play an important role in the pathogenesis of the condition. Strains isolated were strongly toxigenic and uniform in their toxin production.
4. A food poisoning aetiology was not proved but circumstantial and immunological evidence suggest that pork may be a vector of the disease.
5. The source of Cl. welchii type C was not established.
(Received March 15 1966)
p1 Present address: Department of Medicine, University of Adelaide, South Australia.
p2 Present address: McMaster Laboratories, C.S.I.R.O., Glebe, New South Wales.