Botulism in Adults and Children
Alternate Names : Food Poisoning
Botulism is a rare but potentially fatal disorder. It is caused by a toxin, or
poison, produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum.
What is going on in the body?
Botulinum toxins are among the most powerful poisons known. There are three
forms of botulism:
Foodborne botulism can occur when a person eats food containing
Clostridium botulinum bacteria.
occurs when a baby ingests the spores of the bacteria. The spores then grow in
the baby's intestine and produce toxin.
Wound botulism can be acquired when a wound becomes infected with
the bacteria. Black-tar heroin injections are a modern source of wound
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
Botulism is caused by a toxin made by the Clostridium botulinum
bacteria. Foodborne botulism in adults and children is acquired by eating
improperly preserved or stored food that contains the toxin. Home canned food
is a major source of foodborne botulism.
Infant botulism can be caused by eating honey, which may
contain botulism spores. It can also be caused by eating food containing the
Wound botulism occurs when the bacteria enter a wound, grow, and produce the
toxin. Black-tar heroin injections are a prime source of wound botulism.