Epidemiology and Infection

Short Report

Gastroenteritis and outbreaks

Infant botulism with prolonged faecal excretion of botulinum neurotoxin and Clostridium botulinum for 7 months

Y. DERMANa1, H. KORKEALAa1, E. SALOa2, T. LÖNNQVISTa2, H. SAXENa2 and M. LINDSTRÖMa1 c1

a1 Department of Food Hygiene and Environmental Health, University of Helsinki, Finland

a2 Children's Hospital, University of Helsinki and Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland

SUMMARY

In Finland in April 2010, a 3-month old baby was diagnosed with type A infant botulism. He excreted botulinum neurotoxin and/or Clostridium botulinum in his faeces until November 2010. Five months of excretion was after clinical recovery and discharge from hospital. C. botulinum isolates recovered from the household dust in the patient's home were genetically identical to those found in the infant's stool samples. Long-term faecal excretion of C. botulinum may pose a possible health risk for the parents and others in close contact with the infant.

(Received February 06 2013)

(Revised April 25 2013)

(Accepted May 01 2013)

(Online publication May 21 2013)

Key words

  • Botulinum neurotoxin;
  • Clostridium botulinum ;
  • excretion of botulinum neurotoxin in faeces;
  • infant botulism

Correspondence

c1 Author for correspondence: Professor M. Lindström, Department of Food Hygiene and Environmental Health, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 66, 00014, Helsinki University, Finland. (Email: miia.lindstrom@helsinki.fi)

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