Botulism (Latin, botulus, "sausage") (pronounced /ˈbɒtʃʉlɪsəm/) also known as botulinus intoxication is a rare but sometimes fatal paralytic illness caused by botulinum toxin which is a protein produced under anaerobic conditions by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum, and affecting a wide range of mammals, birds and fish.

The toxin(s) enters the human body in one of three ways: by colonization of the digestive tract by the bacterium in children (infant botulism) or adults (adult intestinal toxemia), by ingestion of toxin from foods (foodborne botulism) or by contamination of a wound by the bacterium (wound botulism). Person to person transmission of botulism does not occur.

All forms lead to paralysis that typically starts with the muscles of the face and then spreads towards the limbs. In severe forms, it leads to paralysis of the breathing muscles and causes respiratory failure. In light of this life-threatening complication, all suspected cases of botulism are treated as medical emergencies, and public health officials are usually involved to prevent further cases from the same source.

Botulism can be prevented by killing the spores by pressure cooking or autoclaving at 121 °C (250 °F) for 30 minutes or providing conditions that prevent the spores from growing. Additional precautions for infants include not feeding them honey.

Read more about Botulism:  Signs and Symptoms, Cause, Diagnosis, Prevention, Treatment, Prognosis, Epidemiology, In Other Species

Other articles related to "botulism":

Botulinum Toxin - Chemical Overview and Lethality
... nerve impulses and causes flaccid (sagging) paralysis of muscles in botulism, as opposed to the spastic paralysis seen in tetanus ... Food-borne botulism usually results from ingestion of food that has become contaminated with spores (such as a perforated can) in an anaerobic environment, allowing the spores to germinate ... It is the ingestion of toxin that causes botulism, not the ingestion of the spores or the vegetative bacteria ...
Sous-vide - Safety
... carefully controlled conditions to avoid botulism poisoning ... Pasteurization kills the botulism bacteria, but the possibility of hardy botulism spores surviving and reactivating once cool remains a concern as with many preserved foods, however ... requirements for "cook-chill", so that the botulism spores do not have the opportunity to grow or propagate ...
Flaccid Paralysis - Causes - Botulism
... The Clostridium botulinum bacteria are the cause of botulism ... Botulism toxin blocks the exocytosis of presynaptic vesicles containing Acetylcholine (ACh) ... Botulism prevents muscle contraction by blocking the release of ACh, thereby halting postsynaptic activity of the neuromuscular junction ...
1971 Bon Vivant Botulism Case
... The 1971 Bon Vivant botulism case was one of the few cases of foodborne botulism to occur from commercial food processing ...
Botulism - In Other Species
... Botulism can occur in many vertebrates and invertebrates ... Botulism has been reported in rats, mice, chicken, frogs, toads, goldfish, aplysia, squid, crayfish, drosophila, leeches, etc ...