Wound botulism

C. C. Mechem, F. G. Walter

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


All published cases of wound botulism were reviewed to describe the epidemiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and treatment of this rare infection. The MEDLINE data base of English-language literature was searched from 1966 to 1992, using the keywords 'wound botulism'. Cases published during this period were identified, and the bibliographies of these articles were used to identify cases published before MEDLINE's search limit of 1966. Because of the limited number of published cases, all were reviewed. Data related to epidemiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis and treatment were collected on each case. When possible, cross-references from case series or reviews were used to corroborate and supplement data for a given case. There were 40 cases identified as wound botulism. The case fatality rate was 10%. The 36 survivors had significant morbidity requiring prolonged medical care. Wound botulism is a rare life-threatening complication of trauma and iv drug abuse. The diagnosis should be considered in any patient with either of these risk factors who develop paresis of cranial nerves and a descending pattern of weakness. Treatment, including administration of antitoxin, should be initiated prior to definitive diagnosis by microbiologic laboratory tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-237
Number of pages5
JournalVeterinary and Human Toxicology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • General Veterinary
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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