Severe botulism after eating home-preserved asparagus

Paterson, D. L., King, M.A., Boyle, R.S., Pond, S.M., Whitby, M., Wright, M. and Henderson, A. (1992) Severe botulism after eating home-preserved asparagus. Medical Journal of Australia, 157 4: 269-270.

Author Paterson, D. L.
King, M.A.
Boyle, R.S.
Pond, S.M.
Whitby, M.
Wright, M.
Henderson, A.
Title Severe botulism after eating home-preserved asparagus
Journal name Medical Journal of Australia
ISSN 1326-537: 0025-729X
Publication date 1992-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 157
Issue 4
Start page 269
End page 270
Total pages 2
Place of publication Sydney, NSW, Australia
Publisher Australasian Medical Publishing Co.
Language eng
Subject 1103 Clinical Sciences
Formatted abstract
To present a case of adult botulism acquired in Queensland.

Clinical features:
After eating homepreserved asparagus, a 33-year-old man presented with internal and external ophthalmoplegia, bilateral facial nerve palsies, and descending muscle weakness culminating in a sudden respiratory arrest. Electrophysiological testing demonstrated normal nerve conduction velocities and an incremental response of evoked motor potentials on repetitive stimulation, confirming the clinical diagnosis of botulism.

Intervention and outcome:

Treatment with trivalent antitoxin, oral treatment with vancomycin and supportive mechanical ventilation for four weeks resulted in complete clinical recovery. Plasmapheresis was also used but its contribution to the patient's improvement is dubious.

Although botulism is rare in Australia, clinicians should be aware of the clinical presentation and the rapidity of confirmation of the diagnosis by electrophysiological testing. Patients should be nursed in an intensive care setting. Regular testing of vital capacity should be performed to determine the need for mechanical ventilation.
Keyword Infant Botulism
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: UQ Centre for Clinical Research Publications
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Created: Tue, 07 Sep 2010, 17:07:44 EST