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Q.

How many kinds of botulism are there?

Related Topics: Botulism
 

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A.

There are three main kinds of botulism, which are categorized by the way in which the disease is acquired:

  • Food-borne botulism is caused by eating foods that contain the botulinum neurotoxin.


  • Wound botulism is caused by neurotoxin produced from a wound that is infected with the bacteria Clostridium botulinum.


  • Infant botulism occurs when an infant consumes the spores of the botulinum bacteria. The bacteria then grow in the intestines and release the neurotoxin.

Three other kinds of botulism have been described but are seen rarely. The first is adult intestinal colonization that is seen in older children and adults with abnormal bowels. Only rarely does intestinal infection with the Clostridium botulinum bacteria occur in adults. Typically, the adult form of this intestinal botulism is related to abdominal surgical procedures. The second kind (injection botulism) is seen in patients injected with inappropriately high amounts of therapeutic neurotoxin (for example, Botox, Dysport), while the third kind (inhalation botulism) has occurred in laboratory personnel who work with the neurotoxins. All of these six kinds of botulism are potentially fatal.

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Archived: March 20, 2014

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