• Plant poisoning outbreak in the western area of Cambodia, 2005

      Tourdjman, M; Srihawong, R; Soy, T Khean; Touch, S; Hul, S; Janssens, B; Galliot-Guilley, M; Vong, S; Epidemiology and Public Health Unit, Institut Pasteur du Cambodge, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Médecins Sans Frontières Belgium, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Ministry of Health, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France; Service de Toxicologie, Hôpital Lariboisière, Paris, France (2009-03-01)
      An outbreak investigation was conducted during February-March 2005 to determine the cause of several sudden deaths occurring in Pailin Province, Cambodia. Sixty-seven patients presented with non-febrile poisoning-like symptoms and 15 died of coma, including 53% children under 10 years old. Symptoms included sore throat (92%), sore lips (73%), swollen tongue (54%) and gastrointestinal signs (41%). A plant locally called prik was the source of poisoning (97.0 vs. 28.7%, odds ratio 74.3, P<0.001). Patients may have confused the edible Melientha suavis Pierre with Urobotrya siamensis Hiepko, both from the Opiliaceae family. This was the first report of Urobotrya poisoning and its clinical manifestations.