ARMY MEDICAL RESEARCH INST OF CHEMICAL DEFENSE ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND MD
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Botulism is a disease caused by anaerobic, spore-forming bacteria found in soil. Disease results from the actions of chemical toxins produced by these bacteria. The most common forms of human botulism include foodborne, infant, and wound. The main etiology of botulism in humans is foodborne this form is caused by eating foods contaminated with botulinum spores, which germinate and multiply into bacteria to produce neurotoxin in the food. Commonly contaminated foods include improperly preserved home processed foods such as honey, corn, green beans, and beets. Less likely sources are fish products and other commercially processed foods. Infant botulism is often associated with eating honey contaminated with spores, but new evidence suggests that soil and dust brought into the house from the outside may be a significant source of botulinum spores. Wound botulism occurs when spores contaminate a wound, germinate, and produce toxins absorbed into the bloodstream. Regardless of the form of botulism, disease results from the intoxicating effects of potent neurotoxins.