An Investigation of Family Clustering Botulism in Hsinchu City

Ming-Chu Tai

2009 Vol.25 NO.7

Correspondence Author: Ming-Chu Tai


On 14th February, 2008, two suspected botulism cases were notified by hospital, successively. The epidemiological investigation showed that the two cases lived together, (co-exposure). One of them developed typical neurological symptoms, including ptosis, diplopia, dysphasia, myasthenia on both proximal limbs, and respiratory muscle gravis. The case was admitted to the intensive care unit for mechanical ventilation. Anti-toxin of Clostridium botulinum was administered according to the clinical signs before laboratory diagnosis confirmed. The case recovered after 29 days of hospitalization. The other case developed dizziness, difficulty swallowing, ptosis, and mild proximal limbs weakness. This case received anti-toxin treatment before respiratory failure was shown. The case recovered after 5 days of hospitalization.
Serum and stool specimens were collected from patients for both toxin and culture testing for Clostridium botulinum. The serum from patients were both positive for toxin type A. There were no findings from all food samples.
According to the epidemiological results and both cases presented the same type of C botulinum toxin, this event was defined as a family cluster event caused by botulinum type A. By executing disease surveillance and prevention measures, there was no further case reported.
Keywords: Clostridium botulinum, food poisoning, foodborne botulism, antitoxin