Wound botulism results from colonization of a contaminated wound by Clostridium botulinum and the anaerobic in situ production of a potent neurotoxin. Between 1943, when wound botulism was first recognized, and 1990, 47 laboratory-confirmed cases, mostly trauma-associated, were reported in the United States. Since 1990, wound botulism associated with injection drug use emerged as the leading cause of wound botulism in the United States; 210 of 217 cases reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention between 1990 and 2002 were associated with drug injection. Despite the worldwide distribution of Clostridium botulinum spores, wound botulism has been reported only twice outside the United States, Europe, and Australia. However, wound botulism may go undiagnosed and untreated in many countries. We report two cases, both with type A toxin, from the Ecuadorian rain forest. Prompt clinical recognition, supportive care, and administration of trivalent equine botulinum antitoxin were life-saving.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases