BOTULISM is a topic covered in the Harrison's Manual of Medicine.

To view the entire topic, please or purchase a subscription.

Harrison’s Manual of Medicine 19th edition provides 600+ internal medicine topics in a rapid-access format. Download Harrison’s App to iPhone, iPad, and Android smartphone and tablet. Explore these free sample topics:

Harrison’s Manual of Medicine - App + Web

-- The first section of this topic is shown below --

Microbiology, Epidemiology, and Pathogenesis

Botulism is a paralytic disease caused by neurotoxins elaborated by Clostridium botulinum, an anaerobic spore-forming gram-positive bacterium, as well as a few other toxigenic Clostridium spp.

  • Botulism is caused by the toxin’s inhibition of acetylcholine release at the neuromuscular junction through an enzymatic mechanism.
    • C. botulinum toxin types A, B, E, and (rarely) F cause human disease, with toxin type A causing the most severe syndrome.
    • Toxin type E is associated with foods of aquatic origin.
  • Transmission is usually due to consumption of foods contaminated with botulinum toxin, but contamination of wounds with spores also can result in disease.
    • Most U.S. food-borne cases (average, 23 cases per year) are associated with home-canned food.
    • Infant botulism results from toxigenic clostridial colonization of the intestine of children <1 year of age and is the most common form of the disease in the United States, with ~80–100 cases reported annually.
  • Toxin is heat-labile, and spores are heat-resistant; these properties underscore the importance of properly heating foods.
  • Botulinum toxin is among the most toxic substances known and thus is of concern as a potential weapon of bioterrorism.

-- To view the remaining sections of this topic, please or purchase a subscription --


* When formatting your citation, note that all book, journal, and database titles should be italicized* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - BOTULISM ID - 623241 ED - Fauci,Anthony S, ED - Hauser,Stephen L, ED - Jameson,J Larry, ED - Kasper,Dennis L, ED - Longo,Dan L, ED - Loscalzo,Joseph, BT - Harrison's Manual of Medicine UR - PB - McGraw Hill Inc. ET - 19 DB - Harrison's Manual of Medicine DP - Unbound Medicine ER -