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Clin Infect Dis. 1996 Aug;23(2):337-40.

Experience with the use of an investigational F(ab')2 heptavalent botulism immune globulin of equine origin during an outbreak of type E botulism in Egypt.

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U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit No. 3, Cairo, Egypt.


During an outbreak of type E foodborne botulism in Cairo in 1991, an investigational equine F(ab')2 "despeciated" heptavalent botulism immune globulin (dBIG) was provided to the Egyptian Ministry of Health by the U.S. Army. Of 54 patients known to have been treated with antitoxins, 4 received commercially available trivalent antitoxins, 45 received dBIG, and 5 received both commercial antitoxin and dBIG. Physicians recorded side effects in 10 (22%) of 45 patients who received dBIG; in nine cases, reactions were considered "mild," and in one case they were believed to be serum sickness. In contrast, possible serum sickness during hospitalization was recorded for two of four patients who were receiving commercial antitoxins. No complications of therapy were noted for any patient who was receiving both antitoxin types. In a separate study, 31 patients were contacted about their reactions to the antitoxin by telephone after discharge from the hospital. Seven (54%) of 13 patients attributed symptoms that they experienced while they were hospitalized to receipt of dBIG, while four (44%) of nine patients who indicated that they had received commercial antitoxins and one (20%) of five who received both commercial antitoxin and dBIG reported side effects before discharge. Data on the efficacy of the antitoxins were not obtained. In our experience, equine dBIG was at least as safe as commercially available antitoxins in treating type E foodborne botulism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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