What Are the Most Common Causes of Botulism?

What are the most common causes of botulism?

Though botulism is a rare disease, the comparatively common types are foodborne botulism, wound botulism and infant botulism. Generally speaking, they are caused by the toxin released by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.

Here are the most common causes of the three types:

Foodborne botulism

Foodborne botulism often comes from homecanned foods that are low in acid, such as green beans, corn and beets.
When you eat food containing the toxin, it disrupts nerve function, causing paralysis.

Wound botulism

People who inject heroin, which can contain spores of the bacteria have a higher risk of wound botulism. It also occurs in people with a wound but exposed to the bacteria unawares.
When C. botulinum bacteria get into a wound, they can multiply and produce toxin.

Infant botulism

Babies get infant botulism after consuming spores of the bacteria, which then grow and multiply in their intestinal tracts and make toxins.
The source of infant botulism may be honey.

Though it can be treated, it’s important to seek medical treatment once there are any symptoms. Because early treatment improves the chances of survival.


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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.