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J Child Neurol. 2007 Dec;22(12):1333-7. doi: 10.1177/0883073807308707.

Infant botulism: 20 years' experience at a single institution.

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  • 1Neurology Division, Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, California 90027, USA.


Admissions from January 1, 1985, to December 31, 2005, with the diagnosis of infant botulism were reviewed to describe the clinical presentation, course, outcome, and changes related to the availability of botulism immune globulin treatment. Botulism diagnoses were confirmed by the finding of toxin or Clostridium botulinum organisms in stool samples (type A, 14; type B, 25; type not noted, 5). Twenty-four patients were admitted from 1985-1994 and 20 from 1995-2004. Infants in the two decades were similar in age, demographics, and presenting features. Ventilator support was needed in 13 of 24 (54%) in 1985-1994 and in 15 of 20 (75%) in 1995-2005; 43 required nasogastric feeding. Seventeen patients were treated with botulism immune globulin. Length of stay was shorter in infants treated with botulism immune globulin (13.5 vs 23 days, P = .009), with a trend toward reduced need for nasogastric feeding and in shorter duration of tracheal intubation. All patients recovered fully. Even with the availability of botulism immune globulin, meticulous supportive care remained essential for recovery.

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