[Infant botulism in France, 1991-2009].
Author(s): King LA, Popoff MR, Mazuet C, Espie E, Vaillant V, de Valk H
Affiliation(s): Departement de maladies infectieuses, institut de veille sanitaire, 12, rue du Val-d'Osne, 94415 Saint-Maurice cedex, France. firstname.lastname@example.org
Publication date & source: 2010-09, Arch Pediatr., 17(9):1288-92. Epub 2010 Aug 17.
Publication type: English Abstract
Infant botulism is caused by the ingestion of spores of Clostridium botulinum and affects newborns and infants under 12 months of age. Ingested spores multiply and produce botulinum toxin in the digestive tract, which then induces clinical symptoms. A single French case was described in the literature prior to 1991. We describe the cases of infant botulism identified in France between 1991 and 2009. All clinical suspicions of botulism must be declared in France. Biological confirmation of the disease is provided by the National reference laboratory for anaerobic bacteria and botulism at the Pasteur Institute. During this period, 7 cases of infant botulism were identified, 1 per year from 2004 to 2008 and 2 in 2009. The median age of affected infants was 119 days and all were female. All infants presented with constipation and oculomotor symptoms. All were hospitalized and required mechanical ventilation. The infants recovered from their botulism. The diagnosis of infant botulism was biologically confirmed for all patients. One 4-month-old infant was treated with a single dose of the human-derived botulism antitoxin specific for infant botulism types A and B (BabyBIG(R)). The infants all had different feeding habits ranging from exclusive breast feeding to a mix of formula feeding and solid food consumption. The consumption of honey, the only documented risk food for this disease, was reported for 3 of the infants. The honey had been placed on the pacifier of 2 infants and directly in the mouth of the 3rd by the mother. Infant botulism, a form of botulism that was previously rarely recognized in France, has been reported more frequently during the last 6 years. This disease remains rare but nonetheless severe. In light of recent epidemiological data, efforts to raise awareness among parents of infants and health professionals on the danger of infant botulism and particularly, its association with honey consumption seems necessary. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.