Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia.
Related to infant botulism: Clostridium botulinum
1. any poisoning caused by Clostridium botulinum in the body; it produces a neurotoxin called botulinum toxin.
2. specifically, a rare but severe, often fatal, form of food poisoning due to ingestion of improperly canned or preserved foods contaminated with Clostridium botulinum. Called also foodborne botulism. Symptoms include vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, weakness, constipation, and nerve paralysis (causing difficulty in seeing, breathing, and swallowing), with death from paralysis of the respiratory organs. To prevent botulism, home canning and preserving of all nonacid foods (that is, all foods other than fruits and tomatoes) must be done according to proper specific directions.
Treatment. Treatment is determined based on the type of botulism, but careful respiratory assessment and support are always required. An antitoxin to block the action of toxin circulating in the blood can be used for foodborne and wound botulism if the problem is diagnosed and treated early.
foodborne botulism botulism (def. 2).
infant botulism that affecting infants, typically 4 to 26 weeks of age, marked by constipation, lethargy, hypotonia, and feeding difficulty; it may lead to respiratory insufficiency. It results from toxin produced in the gut by ingested organisms, rather than from preformed toxins.
wound botulism a form resulting from infection of a wound with Clostridium botulinum.
an intoxication by neurotoxins produced by Clostridium botulinum that occurs in children less than 6 months of age. The condition is characterized by severe hypotonicity of all muscles, constipation, lethargy, and feeding difficulties, and it may lead to respiratory insufficiency. The botulism neurotoxin is usually found in the GI tract rather than in the blood, indicating that it is probably produced in the gut rather than ingested. The epidemiological and pathophysiological characteristics of the syndrome are not clearly understood.
interventions Treatment is supportive, including optimal management of fluids, electrolytes, and nutrition. Ventilatory support may also be necessary. There is no evidence that antitoxin therapy is helpful, and it is usually not recommended.
infant botulismPediatrics An acute, potentially fatal infection by spores from Clostridium botulinum, a spore-forming bug found in dust, honey, and elsewhere, affecting infants up to 10 months Risk factors Unknown, breast feeding, honey in diet
A form of botulism that affects infants less than 1 year old who ingest soil or food (esp. honey) containing Clostridium botulinum spores. The infant's protective intestinal flora is not yet established, and the spores germinate into active bacteria that produce the neurotoxin. It is treated with oral amoxicillin.
The symptoms include constipation, lethargy, listlessness, poor feeding, ptosis, loss of head control, difficulty in swallowing, hypotonia, generalized weakness, and respiratory insufficiency. The disease may be mild or severe.
See also: botulism