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What is infant botulism food poisoning?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Infant botulism is a disease that develops when an infant consumes certain bacterial spores known as Clostridium botulinum. Often these spores are found in honey, but can also be present in soil, standing water, and dust. This harmful bacteria remains in the infant's intestines where it continues to grow and multiply to the point where it becomes toxic. Infant botulism can occur in infants under the age of 12 months, and can lead to symptoms such as constipation, weakness and loss of muscle control.

Infant botulism food poisoning is colonization of the bacteria C. botulinum in the intestinal tract of babies younger than 12 months of age. This bacterium produces a neurotoxin, which can block the pathways connecting nerves to both smooth and skeletal muscle. This can lead to a great variation of symptoms including muscle weakness, constipation and difficulty breathing. These symptoms are all related to the inability of the nerves to communicate with the muscles as a result of the neurotoxin.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.