Denmark: Botulism in an infant or infant botulism?

A Pærregaard, Øystein Angen, M Lisby, K Mølbak, M.E. Clausen, J.J. Christensen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    A 4.5 months old, previously healthy Danish girl was admitted to a paediatric department after six days of passive behaviour and weak suck. Over the next days she became increasingly weak, developed bilateral ptosis, the muscle stretch reflexes were lost, and mydriasis with slow pupillary responses was noted. Botulism was suspected and confirmed by testing of patient serum in a bioassay. The condition of the patient improved following administration of botulism antiserum. The clinical picture was suggestive of intestinal (infant) botulism. However, botulism acquired from consumption of food with preformed neurotoxin could not be excluded. The food history revealed consumption of a commercially produced banana/peach puree which was suspected as a possible source, and based on a precautionary principle this product was recalled. The case description illustrates a risk-management dilemma between suspected foodborne versus intestinal botulism. Taking the potentially very serious consequences of foodborne botulism into consideration, the measures taken were justified.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEurosurveillance (Print Edition)
    Issue number51
    Pages (from-to)
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • Botulism

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