Botulism

June 09 23:27 2019 Print This Article

Botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. There are three main kinds of botulism. Infant botulism, first recognized in 1976, affects infants under 12 months of age. The bacterium may enter the body through wounds , or they may live in improperly canned or preserved food.Wound botulism is caused by toxin produced from a wound infected with Clostridium botulinum .

Person to person transmission of botulism does not occur. Investigations of Clostridium neurotoxin as a biological weapon have been carried out by various nations. Infant botulism is caused by consuming the spores of the botulinum bacteria, which then grow in the intestines and release toxin. In the event of a bioterrorism event, people intentionally exposed who breathe in the toxin or eat the toxin in contaminated food or water might develop the illness. Foodborne botulism is caused by eating foods that contain the botulism toxin. The term botulus is derived from the Latin word for “sausage.”

All forms of botulism can be fatal and are considered medical emergencies. It is mainly a foodborne intoxication but it can also be transmitted through wound infections or intestinal infection in infants. Clostridium botulinum is an anaerobic, Gram-positive, spore-forming rod that produces a potent neurotoxin.The toxins are produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. The disease is an intoxication caused by extremely potent toxins preformed in foods. Botulin is a potent toxin, blocking nerve function and leading to respiratory and musculoskeletal paralysis.

Many botulism cases occur in infants, and experts think that’s because their digestive systems can’t protect them from germs the way an older kid’s or an adult’s digestive system can. Foodborne botulism can be especially dangerous as a public health problem because many people can be poisoned from a single contaminated food source. Infant botulism is treatable, but because of its severity, it’s important to learn the symptoms so you can recognize it early.

Causes of Botulism

Here are the list of the possible causes of Botulism:

  • Botulism is caused by eating foods that contain the botulism poison.
  • A wound becomes infected with the bacteria (rare in the US). The toxin then travels to other parts of the body through the bloodstream.
  • High-risk foods include home-canned or home-processed low-acid fruits and vegetables; fish and fish products and condiments, such as relish and chili peppers.
  • However, cases have also occurred from chili peppers, oil infused with garlic and baked potatoes.
  • Infant botulism is not transmitted from person to person.
  • Honey consumption in infants.
  • IV drug use (rare).

Symptoms of Botulism

Some sign and symptoms related to Botulism are as follows:

  • Nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps.
  • Paralysis.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Double vision.
  • Difficulty sucking or feeding.
  • Difficulty swallowing or speaking.
  • Droopy eyelids.
  • Little energy.
  • Poor muscle tone.
  • Dry mouth.
  • Vomiting.

Treatment of Botulism

Here is list some of the methods for treating Candidiasis:

  • Large doses of botulinum antitoxin are given directly into a vein and repeated at 12- or 24-hour intervals as necessary.
  • Drugs that increase the amount of acetylcholine, such as pyridostigmine may be given.
  • Many patients require intubation and ventilatory support for a few days to months.
  • A treatment called botulism immune globulin has been investigated to treat infants; it appears effective in reducing the duration and severity of cases.
  • Tracheostomy may prove necessary to manage secretions.
  • Magnesium salts, citrate, or sulfate, should not be administered because magnesium can potentiate the toxin-induced neuromuscular blockade.
  • Wounds should be treated, usually surgically, to remove the source of the toxin-producing bacteria.

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