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Is botulism food infection or intoxication?

1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Larry Lutwick
Internal Medicine - Infectious Disease

In brief: Intoxication mostly

Classical food botulism is caused by preformed botulinum toxin, usually a, b, or e, ingested in food not cooked or stored correctly, such as with home canning.
Despite this, so-called infant botulim is caused by ingestion of bacillus botulinum spores with germination in the immature intestinal tract and elaboration of toxin. Same thing can occur in wound botulism.

In brief: Intoxication mostly

Classical food botulism is caused by preformed botulinum toxin, usually a, b, or e, ingested in food not cooked or stored correctly, such as with home canning.
Despite this, so-called infant botulim is caused by ingestion of bacillus botulinum spores with germination in the immature intestinal tract and elaboration of toxin. Same thing can occur in wound botulism.
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