Botulism

National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

Important
It is possible that the main title of the report Botulism is not the name you expected.

Disorder Subdivisions

  • Foodborne Botulism
  • Wound Botulism
  • Infant Botulism

General Discussion

Botulism is a neuromuscular (paralytic) disease caused by a bacterial toxin acting in the intestine (enterotoxin) and causing neuromuscular poisoning (resulting from Clostridium botulinum toxin). There are four generally recognized naturally-occurring types; foodborne, wound, infant, and, rarely, adult intestinal colonization. Foodborne botulism results when C. botulinum produces toxin in contaminated food that is subsequently ingested. Wound botulism occurs when C. botulinum spores germinate and produce toxin in a contaminated wound or abscess. The most common form of botulism in the United States, infant botulism, is caused when ingested C. botulinum spores colonize and subsequently produce toxin in the intestines of affected infants. In rare instances, C. botulinum intestinal colonization and toxin production have also occurred among adults with anatomical or functional bowel abnormalities. Additionally, botulism has infrequently occurred after intramuscular injection of botulinum toxin for treatment of certain dystonias and other disorders. Finally, inhalational botulism, though not naturally-occurring, was reported among three German laboratory workers who inadvertently inhaled aerosolized toxin, and could potentially occur after a deliberate aerosolization of toxin in a bioterrorism event.

Any case of foodborne or unexplained botulism is considered to be a public health emergency because of the potential for toxin-containing foods to injure others who eat them and because of the potential misuse of botulinum toxin as a biological weapon. State and local public health officials by law must be informed immediately whenever botulism is suspected in a human patient.

Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road NE
Atlanta, GA 30333
Tel: (404)639-3534
Tel: (800)311-3435
Email: http://www.cdc.gov/netinfo.htm
Internet: http://www.cdc.gov/

NIH/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
6610 Rockledge Drive
MSC 6612
Bethesda, MD 20892-6612
Tel: (301)496-5717
Fax: (301)402-3573
TDD: (800)877-8339
Internet: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/

Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Consumer Nutrition and Health Information
10903 New Hampshire Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002
Tel: (301)575-0156
Tel: (888)463-6332
Internet: http://www.fda.gov/Food/LabelingNutrition/ConsumerInformation/default.htm

Infant Botulism Treatment and Prevention Program
850 Marina Bay Parkway
Room E361
Richmond, CA 94804
Tel: (510)231-7600
Email: ibtpp@infantbotulism.org
Internet: http://www.infantbotulism.org

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223
Email: ordr@od.nih.gov
Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/Default.aspx

For a Complete Report

For a Complete Report

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc. ® (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be obtained for a small fee by visiting the NORD website. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational treatments (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, see http://www.rarediseases.org/search/rdblist.html

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.