Infant botulism: Report of a misleading case and important key messages

Arch Pediatr. 2022 Jul;29(5):395-397. doi: 10.1016/j.arcped.2022.05.012. Epub 2022 May 27.


Infant botulism is a rare and life-threatening disease caused by the inhalation of Clostridium botulinum spores and differs from adult forms. We report the case of infant botulism in a 4-month-old boy who was exclusively breastfed without any consumption of honey. He presented with severe and acute encephalo-myelo-radiculitis. The patient was treated without success for suspected "postviral" central nervous system inflammatory disease. The diagnosis was eventually made 20 days after the onset of symptoms on the basis of a stool sample. Recovery was complete. Infant botulism should be suspected when infants present with acute flaccid paralysis or brainstem weakness and specific immunoglobulins should be administered.

Keywords: Infant botulism; Pediatric intensive care unit; Pediatric neurology.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Botulism* / diagnosis
  • Botulism* / etiology
  • Botulism* / therapy
  • Breast Feeding
  • Clostridium botulinum*
  • Female
  • Honey*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male