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BMJ Case Rep. 2010; 2010: bcr0520103038.
Published online 2010 September 29. doi:  10.1136/bcr.05.2010.3038
PMCID: PMC3028016
Rare disease

The hazards of honey: infantile botulism

Abstract

Infantile botulism is a rare cause of neuromuscular weakness resulting from ingestion of Clostridium botulinum—an anaerobic Gram-positive bacillus found universally in soil. The only definite food source known to cause infantile botulism is honey; previously, links to formula milk have been postulated but not definitely sourced. We present an interesting case report of a 2-month-old infant with this rare condition, including the diagnostic difficulties that ensued. A brief overview of the condition follows. This is the first case in the UK in which C botulinum was successfully isolated from both the patient and the suspected source—a jar of honey. The importance of food labelling as a public health message is highlighted.


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