Botulism is caused by a neurotoxin produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacteria. This neurotoxin can enter the body through ingestion of contaminated food, through a wound, or through inhalation.
Botulism is diagnosed by testing the patient’s blood or stool for the presence of the toxin or bacteria.
Differential diagnosis for Botulism include Guillain-Barre Syndrome, Myasthenia Gravis, Tick Paralysis, and Encephalitis.
Treatment for Botulism includes the administration of an antitoxin to neutralize the toxin and supportive care such as providing breathing assistance and fluids.
The prognosis for Botulism is generally good with prompt and appropriate treatment. The majority of patients recover with no long-term complications.