Epidemiologic, Clinical and Laboratory Aspects of Wound Botulism

Michael H. Merson, V. R. Dowell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An analysis of the clinical, epidemiologic and laboratory aspects of nine patients with wound botulism showed that all had characteristic clinical findings, including respiratory paralysis. Five cases were reported between April, 1971, and November, 1972. Laboratory confirmation was obtained in six cases by demonstration of botulinal toxin in serum or isolation of Clostridium botulinum from a wound or both; all were Type A. Although four of the nine patients died, only one of the six most recent cases was fatal. Electromyography was helpful in confirming the diagnosis in three cases. A diagnosis of wound botulism should be considered when characteristic neurologic abnormalities are present and no food item can be implicated epidemiologically. Use of proper laboratory methods for detection of botulinal toxin and identification of clostridial isolates is imperative. (N Engl J Med 289:1005–1010, 1973).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1005-1010
Number of pages6
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number19
StatePublished - Nov 8 1973

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Epidemiologic, Clinical and Laboratory Aspects of Wound Botulism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this