KRISTINE L. MacDONALD, M.D.; GEORGE W. RUTHERFORD, M.D.; STEPHEN M. FRIEDMAN, M.D., M.P.H.; JOHN R. DIETZ, M.D.; BRIAN R. KAYE, M.D.; GEORGE F. McKINLEY, M.D.; JAMES H. TENNEY, M.D.; MITCHELL L. COHEN, M.D.
From 1982 to 1983 we received reports of a neurologic illness characterized by a symmetric descending paralysis in six drug abusers from widely separated geographic areas. Botulism was confirmed in two patients; type B botulinal toxin was found and Clostridium botulinum was isolated from a small abscess in one, and type A botulinal toxin was found in the serum of the other. The clinical illness in the remaining four patients, although not laboratory confirmed, was also compatible with botulism. None of the patients had histories suggestive of foodborne botulism, and wound botulism was suspected as the cause of illness. There are several reports of tetanus associated with parenteral drug abuse; wound botulism is another toxin-mediated clostridial infection that may occur as a complication of chronic drug abuse.
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MacDONALD KL, RUTHERFORD GW, FRIEDMAN SM, DIETZ JR, KAYE BR, McKINLEY GF, et al. Botulism and Botulism-like Illness in Chronic Drug Abusers. Ann Intern Med. 1985;102:616–618. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-102-5-616
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1985;102(5):616-618.
Emergency Medicine, Infectious Disease, Neurology, Tobacco, Alcohol, and Other Substance Abuse.
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Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
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