Botulism as a cause of respiratory failure in injecting drug users

Case Reports


Background Wound botulism occurs as a consequence of inoculation of Clostridium botulinum spores into a wound.

Aim To describe such a case of wound botulism. Results A 23-year-old drug-injecting user presented with bulbar symptoms and progressive signs over a three-day period. The diagnosis of botulism was suspected and was treated with large doses of penicillin and botulinum antitoxin. The diagnosis was confirmed by the presence of serum botulinum toxin A.

Conclusion Physicians should be aware of the association of botulism in injecting drug users, particularly in Ireland.

Copyright information

© Springer London 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • S FitzGerald
    • 1
  • R Lyons
    • 1
    • 2
  • J Ryan
    • 2
  • W Hall
    • 1
  • C Gallagher
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Departments of MicrobiologySt Vincent’s University HospitalDublinIreland
  2. 2.Emergency Medicine and Respiratory MedicineSt Vincent’s University HospitalIreland

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