Invasive Species Compendium

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botulism

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Datasheet

botulism

Summary

  • Last modified
  • 21 November 2019
  • Datasheet Type(s)
  • Animal Disease
  • Preferred Scientific Name
  • botulism
  • Pathogens
  • Clostridium botulinum
  • Overview
  • Clostridium botulinum is the bacterial agent responsible for the intoxication called botulism. Botulism results in a neuroparalysis in many mammalian and avian species. The bacterial species actually consists of...

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Identity

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Preferred Scientific Name

  • botulism

International Common Names

  • English: botulism toxicity in birds, clostridium botulinum; botulism toxicity in ruminants, clostridium botulinum; botulism toxicity in swine, clostridium botulinum; clostridiosis; Clostridium botulinum infection; paralysis, bulbar
  • Spanish: botulismo
  • French: botulisme

Local Common Names

  • Argentina: mal de aguapey
  • Australia: bulbar paralysis
  • Brazil: stiff foreleg disease
  • Denmark: pølseforgiftning
  • Italy: botulismo
  • Portugal: botulismo
  • South Africa: lamsiekte; lamziekte
  • USA: alkali poisoning; forage poisoning; limberneck; loin disease; shaker foal syndrome; western duck sickness
  • Venezuela: bovine paraplegic syndrome; sindrome paraplejico de los bovinos

Pathogen/s

Top of page Clostridium botulinum

Overview

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Clostridium botulinum is the bacterial agent responsible for the intoxication called botulism. Botulism results in a neuroparalysis in many mammalian and avian species. The bacterial species actually consists of a widely varying collection of organisms that produce a group of at least seven (designated A-G) serologically distinct toxins, which are the most powerful natural toxins found in nature. Although differing in the specifics of action, all of the toxins block acetylcholine release from cholinergic nerve endings, ultimately causing paralysis of the respiratory system. Botulism has been recognized as a food-borne illness, since the disease was first characterized by van Ermengem in 1895 (Hatheway, 1990). Besides originating with a food-borne intoxication in which pre-formed toxin is ingested, three categories of botulism have been described in humans. Wound botulism, is a botulism in which toxigenic isolates colonize, grow and produce toxins (Merson and Dowell, 1973; CDC, 1980). Infant botulism, occurs in neonates that ingest clostridial spores (Arnon et al., 1977; Paton et al., 1983). There is a fourth category that is described by the Center of Disease Control as botulism occurring in adults and children with no apparent food vehicle (CDC, 1978). No clear evidence indicates whether the categories other than food-borne botulism occur in species other than man.

Host Animals

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Animal nameContextLife stageSystem
Alectoris rufa (red-legged partridge)Domesticated host, Wild host
Anas (ducks)Experimental settingsOther: All Stages
Anser (geese)
Anser anser (geese)
Anser cygnoides
Bos indicus (zebu)
Bos taurus (cattle)Domesticated hostCattle & Buffaloes: All Stages
Bubalus bubalis (Asian water buffalo)Domesticated hostCattle & Buffaloes: All Stages
Cairina (Muscovy ducks)
Camelus dromedarius (dromedary camel)Domesticated host
Canis familiaris (dogs)Domesticated hostOther: All Stages
Capra hircus (goats)Domesticated hostSheep & Goats: All Stages
Cebus capucinaDomesticated hostOther: All Stages
CervidaeDomesticated hostOther: All Stages
Columba livia (pigeons)Wild hostOther: All Stages
Equus caballus (horses)Domesticated hostOther: All Stages
Gallus gallus domesticus (chickens)Domesticated hostPoultry: All Stages
Homo sapiensWild hostOther: All Stages
MeleagrisDomesticated hostPoultry: All Stages
mulesDomesticated hostOther: All Stages
Mus musculus (house mouse)
Muscovy duck
Neovison vison (American mink)Domesticated hostOther: All Stages
Ovis aries (sheep)Domesticated hostSheep & Goats: All Stages
Panthera leo (lion)Domesticated hostOther: All Stages
PavoDomesticated hostOther: All Stages
PelecanusWild hostOther: All Stages
Perdix perdix (grey partridge)Domesticated host, Wild host
Phasianus (pheasants)Domesticated hostOther: All Stages
Phasianus colchicus (common pheasant)Domesticated host, Wild host
RuminantiaDomesticated hostCattle & Buffaloes: All Stages|Sheep & Goats/All Stages
SaimiriDomesticated hostOther: All Stages
StruthioDomesticated hostOther: All Stages
Sus scrofa (pigs)Domesticated hostPigs: All Stages

Hosts/Species Affected

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Outbreaks of botulism occur regularly in areas where waterfowl congregate, particularly in areas such as the western United States, where waters are alkaline, or in water with high levels of phosphate (Marion et al., 1983). Extensive mortality in waterfowl or other fish-feeding birds have also been associated with the ingestion of arthropods, fish (Brand et al., 1988), fly larvae (Shayegani et al., 1984) and beetles (Duncan and Jensen, 1976) contaminated with Clostridium botulinum spores or toxins. Mortality in poultry houses has been associated with fly maggots (Cliplef and Wobeser, 1993) or beetles, which are ostensibly contaminated with spores of the bacterium. Botulism in cattle has been associated with the ingestion of ensiled poultry litter (Jean et al., 1995), ensiled grain (Divers et al., 1986), plastic encased hay (Wilson et al., 1995), contaminated pasture land (Notermans et al., 1981), and consumption of contaminated brewers’ grains (Breukink et al., 1978). Botulism has been associated in other species with the consumption of duck carcasses (Farrow et al., 1983) or by consumption of poultry carcasses from birds that have succumbed to ataxia, paralysis or recumbency (Greenwood, 1985). Toxic infectious botulism has been demonstrated in horses, where toxin is produced in necrotic areas of the body (Swerczek, 1980).

Systems Affected

Top of page nervous system diseases of large ruminants
nervous system diseases of pigs
nervous system diseases of poultry
nervous system diseases of small ruminants

Distribution

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Botulism is worldwide in its occurrence, occurring in manymammalian and avian species and has been reproduced experimentally in cattle (Colbachini et al., 1999), chickens (Okamoto et al., 1999b), ducks (Martinez and Wobeser, 1999), turkeys (Jeffrey et al., 1994) and goats (Santos et al., 1993).

Distribution Table

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The distribution in this summary table is based on all the information available. When several references are cited, they may give conflicting information on the status. Further details may be available for individual references in the Distribution Table Details section which can be selected by going to Generate Report.

Last updated: 11 Mar 2020
Continent/Country/Region Distribution Last Reported Origin First Reported Invasive Reference Notes

Africa

AngolaPresentOIE Handistatus (2005)
BotswanaPresentOIE Handistatus (2005)
Cabo VerdeAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
Central African RepublicAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
Congo, Democratic Republic of theAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
Côte d'IvoireAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
DjiboutiAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
GuineaAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
MadagascarAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
MauritiusAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
NamibiaPresentOIE Handistatus (2005)
RéunionAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
SenegalPresentOIE Handistatus (2005)
South AfricaPresentLugt et al. (1996); OIE Handistatus (2005)
TogoAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
ZimbabwePresentOIE Handistatus (2005)

Asia

BahrainAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
ChinaPresent, LocalizedLi (1990)
Hong KongPresentOIE Handistatus (2005)
IndonesiaAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
IranAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
IraqPresentOIE Handistatus (2005)
JordanAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
KazakhstanAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
KuwaitAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
Malaysia
-Peninsular MalaysiaAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
-SabahAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
OmanPresentOIE Handistatus (2005)
QatarAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
Saudi ArabiaAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
SingaporeAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
South KoreaPresentOIE Handistatus (2005)
Sri LankaAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
SyriaAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
TaiwanPresent2003Wang ChingHo and Kao YingTai (1996)
ThailandAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
United Arab EmiratesAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
UzbekistanAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)

Europe

AndorraAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
BelarusAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
BulgariaAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
CroatiaAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
CyprusAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
CzechiaAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
FrancePresentPommier et al. (1988); Popoff (1989); OIE Handistatus (2005)
GreeceAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
IrelandPresentOIE Handistatus (2005)
LatviaAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
LiechtensteinAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
LithuaniaAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
LuxembourgAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
MaltaAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
NetherlandsPresentChiers et al. (1998); OIE Handistatus (2005)
North MacedoniaAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
NorwayAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
PortugalAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
RomaniaAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
RussiaPresentIslamov (1991)Original recorded location: Russia (Asia)
-Russia (Europe)PresentIslamov (1991)
Serbia and MontenegroAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
SloveniaAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
SpainAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
SwedenPresentOIE Handistatus (2005)
SwitzerlandPresentOIE Handistatus (2005)
UkraineAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
United KingdomPresentOIE Handistatus (2005)
-Northern IrelandPresentOIE Handistatus (2005)

North America

BermudaAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
British Virgin IslandsAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
CanadaPresentOIE Handistatus (2005)
-AlbertaPresentLeighton et al. (1990)
-ManitobaPresentLeighton et al. (1990)
-SaskatchewanPresentWobeser et al. (1997)
Cayman IslandsAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
CubaAbsent, No presence record(s)Boado et al. (1992); OIE Handistatus (2005)
CuraçaoAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
DominicaAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
HondurasAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
JamaicaPresentOIE Handistatus (2005)
MexicoAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
PanamaPresentOIE Handistatus (2005)
Saint Kitts and NevisAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
Saint Vincent and the GrenadinesAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
United StatesPresentPage and Fletcher (1975); OIE Handistatus (2005); CABI (Undated);
-CaliforniaPresentLinares et al. (1994); Williams and Whitlock (1998); CABI (Undated);
-FloridaPresentCABI (Undated)Original citation: Forrester et al. (1980)
-GeorgiaPresentPage and Fletcher (1975)
-TennesseePresentWilson et al. (1995)

Oceania

AustraliaPresentOIE Handistatus (2005)
-Northern TerritoryPresentWitte (1996)
-QueenslandPresentChamberlain and Thomas (1995)
-Western AustraliaPresentMain and Gregory (1996)
French PolynesiaAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
New CaledoniaPresentOIE Handistatus (2005)
VanuatuAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)

South America

BrazilPresentSilva et al. (1998); OIE Handistatus (2005)
-MaranhaoPresentSilva et al. (1998)
-Minas GeraisPresentLobato et al. (1995)
-Sao PauloPresentLisbôa et al. (1996)
ChileAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
Falkland IslandsAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
French GuianaAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
GuyanaPresent, Serological evidence and/or isolation of the agentOIE Handistatus (2005)
ParaguayPresentBrizuela (1996); OIE Handistatus (2005)
PeruAbsent, No presence record(s)OIE Handistatus (2005)
UruguayPresentOIE Handistatus (2005)
VenezuelaPresentOIE Handistatus (2005)CAB Abstracts Data Mining

Pathology

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Since botulism in animals is caused by an ingestion of pre-formed toxin, pathology is generally limited or absent. Affected nerves exhibit no specific pathology. Avian species will frequently exhibit maggots in the gastrointestinal tract.

Diagnosis

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Differential diagnosis of botulism is dependent upon observed clinical signs.

Definitive diagnosis is dependent upon detection of toxin in the serum or gastrointestinal washings of an animal. Detection of toxins in post-mortem tissues is not a reliable indication of the disease, since the bacteria are frequently present in the gut and will proliferate post-mortem. The mouse toxin neutralization bioassay is a sensitive and reliable method for detection of toxin in serum and identification of the specific toxin present. Serum samples from waterfowl may require concentration or multiple injections for a sufficient amount of toxin to be detected in the mouse bioassay.

Isolation of the bacterium requires specialized anaerobic techniques and may be of little value since the organism is widespread in nature. Isolation of bacterium from feedstuffs can be accomplished using cooked meat medium incubated at 30°C. Sufficient toxin for a mouse bioassay may require several days of incubation.

PCR methods are also available for difficult recovery samples such as dirt or sludge, which may have a wide variety of Clostridia simultaneously present.

List of Symptoms/Signs

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SignLife StagesType
Cardiovascular Signs / Bradycardia, slow heart beat or pulse Sign
Cardiovascular Signs / Tachycardia, rapid pulse, high heart rate Sign
Digestive Signs / Abdominal distention Sign
Digestive Signs / Anorexia, loss or decreased appetite, not nursing, off feed Cattle & Buffaloes:All Stages,Poultry:All Stages,Other:All Stages,Pigs:All Stages,Sheep & Goats:All Stages Sign
Digestive Signs / Bloat in ruminants, tympany Sign
Digestive Signs / Decreased amount of stools, absent faeces, constipation Sign
Digestive Signs / Diarrhoea Poultry:All Stages Sign
Digestive Signs / Difficulty in prehending or chewing food Sign
Digestive Signs / Dysphagia, difficulty swallowing Sign
Digestive Signs / Dysphagia, difficulty swallowing Sign
Digestive Signs / Excessive salivation, frothing at the mouth, ptyalism Cattle & Buffaloes:All Stages,Other:All Stages,Pigs:All Stages,Sheep & Goats:All Stages Sign
Digestive Signs / Mucous, mucoid stools, faeces Sign
Digestive Signs / Palpable dilated bowel internal paplation Sign
Digestive Signs / Rumen hypomotility or atony, decreased rate, motility, strength Sign
Digestive Signs / Tongue protrusion Sign
Digestive Signs / Tongue weakness, paresis, paralysis Sign
General Signs / Abnormal proprioceptive positioning, knuckling Sign
General Signs / Ataxia, incoordination, staggering, falling Sign
General Signs / Ataxia, incoordination, staggering, falling Sign
General Signs / Dehydration Sign
General Signs / Dysmetria, hypermetria, hypometria Sign
General Signs / Exercise intolerance, tires easily Sign
General Signs / Exercise intolerance, tires easily Sign
General Signs / Forelimb weakness, paresis, paralysis front leg Sign
General Signs / Generalized weakness, paresis, paralysis Sign
General Signs / Generalized weakness, paresis, paralysis Sign
General Signs / Generalized weakness, paresis, paralysis Sign
General Signs / Head, face, ears, jaw weakness, droop, paresis, paralysis Cattle & Buffaloes:All Stages Sign
General Signs / Hypothermia, low temperature Sign
General Signs / Inability to stand, downer, prostration Sign
General Signs / Inability to stand, downer, prostration Sign
General Signs / Inability to stand, downer, prostration Sign
General Signs / Increased mortality in flocks of birds Sign
General Signs / Lameness, stiffness, stilted gait in birds Sign
General Signs / Lordosis, ventral curvature of back Sign
General Signs / Neck weakness, paresis, paralysis, limp, ventroflexion Cattle & Buffaloes:All Stages,Poultry:All Stages,Other:All Stages,Pigs:All Stages,Sheep & Goats:All Stages Sign
General Signs / Paraparesis, weakness, paralysis both hind limbs Sign
General Signs / Paraparesis, weakness, paralysis both hind limbs Sign
General Signs / Reluctant to move, refusal to move Sign
General Signs / Sudden death, found dead Sign
General Signs / Sudden death, found dead Sign
General Signs / Tail weakness, paresis, paralysis sacrococcygeal region Sign
General Signs / Tetraparesis, weakness, paralysis all four limbs Cattle & Buffaloes:All Stages,Other:All Stages,Pigs:All Stages,Sheep & Goats:All Stages Sign
General Signs / Weakness of one hindlimb, paresis paralysis rear leg Sign
General Signs / Weakness, paresis, paralysis of the legs, limbs in birds Poultry:All Stages Sign
General Signs / Weakness, paresis, paralysis, drooping, of the wings Poultry:All Stages Sign
General Signs / Weight loss Poultry:All Stages Sign
Nervous Signs / Abnormal anal, perineal, tail reflexes, increased or decreased Sign
Nervous Signs / Abnormal forelimb reflexes, increased or decreased Sign
Nervous Signs / Abnormal hindlimb reflexes, increased or decreased Sign
Nervous Signs / Coma, stupor Poultry:All Stages Sign
Nervous Signs / Dullness, depression, lethargy, depressed, lethargic, listless Sign
Nervous Signs / Dullness, depression, lethargy, depressed, lethargic, listless Sign
Nervous Signs / Muscle hypotonia Sign
Nervous Signs / Muscle hypotonia Sign
Nervous Signs / Propulsion, aimless wandering Cattle & Buffaloes:All Stages,Poultry:All Stages,Other:All Stages,Pigs:All Stages,Sheep & Goats:All Stages Sign
Nervous Signs / Tremor Other:All Stages Sign
Ophthalmology Signs / Abnormal pupillary response to light Sign
Ophthalmology Signs / Mydriasis, dilated pupil Sign
Ophthalmology Signs / Mydriasis, dilated pupil Sign
Ophthalmology Signs / Photophobia Sign
Ophthalmology Signs / Ptosis, lid droop Sign
Reproductive Signs / Agalactia, decreased, absent milk production Sign
Respiratory Signs / Abnormal lung or pleural sounds, rales, crackles, wheezes, friction rubs Cattle & Buffaloes:All Stages,Other:All Stages,Pigs:All Stages,Sheep & Goats:All Stages Sign
Respiratory Signs / Change in voice, vocal strength Sign
Respiratory Signs / Dyspnea, difficult, open mouth breathing, grunt, gasping Sign
Respiratory Signs / Dyspnea, difficult, open mouth breathing, grunt, gasping Sign
Respiratory Signs / Increased respiratory rate, polypnea, tachypnea, hyperpnea Sign
Skin / Integumentary Signs / Cold skin, cool ears, extremities Sign
Skin / Integumentary Signs / Loss of feathers, loose feathers Poultry:All Stages Sign
Skin / Integumentary Signs / Ruffled, ruffling of the feathers Poultry:All Stages Sign
Urinary Signs / Dysuria, difficult urination, stranguria Sign
Urinary Signs / Enlarged, distended, urinary bladder Sign
Urinary Signs / Urinary incontinence, dribbling urine Sign
Urinary Signs / Urinary incontinence, dribbling urine Sign

Disease Course

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Botulism in animals is due to an intoxication of preformed toxin and therefore the onset of the disease occurs some period after ingestion of the contaminated foodstuff. The duration before onset of the disease is dependent on the specific pathogenicity of the bacterial isolate, the quantity of toxin present in the foodstuff and the immunocompetence of the affected animal. Signs are frequently observable 6-10 hours post-ingestion, where high levels of toxin are present and within days when lower amounts of toxin are involved.

Botulism in animals and man is a neuroparalytic disease that is caused by the blockage of acetylcholine release from nerves that innervate all skeletal muscles, including the muscles of the respiratory system. Other autonomic nerves are often also affected, causing irregular heart rates and affecting blood pressure. The disease is characterized by a symmetric incapacitation of the cranial nerves followed by a descending flaccid paralysis of the muscles of the trunk and limbs. Death is ultimately caused by respiratory failure.

Symptoms and clinical signs differ slightly for avian and mammalian species. Avian species can exhibit anorexia and in chronic intoxications can become emaciated. The legs, wings and necks often become flaccid and paralysed, with signs progressing from the legs to the wings, neck and eyelids. The neck may appear limp and fall back on the body of the bird, the bird may appear comatose due to eyelid paralysis. Birds can lose control of motor function and suffer from inco-ordination. Waterfowl as a result of lost motor function may be unable to swim and frequently drown. Sick birds will often have ruffled feathers and the feathers may fall out upon handling the animal. In addition animals may suffer from watery diarrhoea with excessive urates.

Mammalian species also suffer from paralysis of the leg and neck, with symptoms progressing cranially from hindquarters to the neck and eyelids. Paralysis of the nictating membrane may also occur, along with, in cattle, paralysis of the tongue, eyes and facial muscles. Anorexia can be a symptom. Animals suffer from inco-ordination and loss of motor function. Animals exhibit laboured breathing and excessive salivation. Horses if affected by botulism may exhibit muscle tremors.

Impact: Economic

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The most widespread outbreaks of botulism occur in waterfowl, making the economic impact difficult to calculate. Significant amounts of money have been spent in clean-up efforts in the Western United States. More limited outbreaks of botulism can result in a locally significant economic impact, particularly where large animals such as lactating cows, beef cattle or horses are involved or where large portions of poultry flocks are affected. Anti-toxin intervention is expensive and associated nursing care costs for valuable animals may be significant. Intervention with large numbers of animals or animals in the wild is cost prohibitive.

Zoonoses and Food Safety

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Consumption of material containing toxin is a significant health risk. Botulinum toxins are heat sensitive and neutralized when heated at 100°C or more for at least 10 minutes. Human botulism is a reportable disease in the United States. Single cases of botulism frequently herald the occurrence of larger scale outbreaks and should immediately be referred to local authorities or the relevant regional or national public health laboratory. Details of the case should be compiled and the Center of Disease Control or country equivalent should be notified.

Disease Treatment

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Avian species


Poultry


Affected live birds should be removed from the housing environment and euthanized. Carcasses should be immediately removed from premises and disposed of through incineration.

Valuable birds can be removed from the environment and placed in isolation with fresh feed and water. Recovery may be problematic, depending on the amount of toxin ingested. Anti-toxin intervention is impractical. Administration of immune system modulators such as vitamin E is probably of little value in an outbreak.


Waterfowl


Affected live birds should be removed from the environment and euthanized. Rehabilitation is possible for limited cases, but impractical in widespread outbreaks. Carcasses should be immediately removed from the environment and disposed of through incineration. Land areas where carcasses have been laid can be sprayed with insecticides to kill any maggots that may have fed on carcasses.

Rare or protected species can be removed from the environment and placed in cages and provided with fresh water and feed appropriate for the species. Water for swimming should not be provided until the bird is fully ambulatory and co-ordinated in locomotion, since affected water birds frequently enter the water and drown. Recovery may be problematic, depending on the amount of toxin ingested. Anti-toxin is available but impractical in the wild. Anti-toxin intervention may be useful in zoological collections or where rare or endangered breeds are involved.


Mammalian species


Removal of the animal from the affected environment is important, since the animal can fall victim to predation. Intensive supportive care is necessary and mechanical ventilation support may be required. Anti-toxin administration is frequently advisable, particularly if the animal is valuable. Anti-toxin administration will only neutralize unbound toxin and is not effective for reversing the effects of bound toxin or relieving paralysis. Some studies indicate that anti-toxin must be administered to animals prior to the onset of clinical signs for intervention to be effective. Paralysis may continue to develop after the administration of an anti-toxin. Anti-microbial therapy should generally not be instituted for intoxication cases, since lysed bacteria will actually increase the amount of free neurotoxin in circulation. Anti-microbial therapy is used in cases of human wound botulism.

Prevention and Control

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Management practices should emphasize the removal of probable sources of botulism toxins. Mortality of any etiology should be immediately removed from the environment, since proliferation of the bacterium and release of the toxin can quickly contaminate carcasses. Fly and beetle control measures should be implemented.

Immunization programmes with inactivated toxoids have been used with some success, particularly in commercial pheasant, mink farms and in cattle range operations in South Africa and Australia. Vaccination of pregnant mares prior to parturition with type B toxoid has been shown to reduce the incidence of the disease in young horses (Johnston and Whitlock, 1987).

Captive or domestic carnivores should not be fed carcasses from disease mortalities, particularly those poultry in origin.

Pentavalent botulism toxoid (A, B, C, D, E) is available from the Center of Disease Control (Atlanta, Georgia, USA) for immunization of laboratory workers who handle the pathogen or the neurotoxins.

References

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Arnon SS; Midura TF; Clay SA; Wood; RM; Chin J, 1977. Infant botulism, Epidemiological, clinical and laboratory aspects. Journal of the American Medical Association, 237:1946-1951.

Barbour EK; Hamadeh SK; Hilan C; Kallas M; Eid A; Sakr W, 1997. National surveillance of poultry diseases in Lebanon. Revue Scientifique et Technique - Office International des épizooties, 16(3):770-775; 4 ref.

Boado E; Zaldivar L; González A, 1992. Diagnosis, report and incidence of diseases of the pigeon (Columba livia) in Cuba. Revista Cubana de Ciencia Avícola, 19(1):74-78; 7 ref.

Brand CJ; Schmitt SM; Duncan RM; Cooley TM, 1988. An outbreak of type E botulism among common loons (Gavia immer) in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Journal of Wildlife Diseases, 24(3):471-476; 30 ref.

Breukink HJ; Wagenaar G, Wensing T et al. , 1978. Food poisoning in cattle caused by ingestion of brewers' grains contaminated with Clostridium botulinum type B. Tijdschrift voor Diergeneeskunde, 103(6):303-311.

Brizuela CM, 1996. Bovine botulism in Paraguay. Tropical Animal Health and Production, 28(3):221-222; 3 ref.

Böhnel H, 1999. Botulism - a forgotten disease?. Berliner und Münchener Tierärztliche Wochenschrift, 112(4):139-145; 18 ref.

Calsow P; Helbing H; Ludwig C; Schlegelmilch R, 1995. Heavy mortality among aquatic birds on a lake. Tierärztliche Umschau, 50(7):477-478, 480; 8 ref.

Catelli E; Piazza V, 1995. Diseases and pathological conditions of ostriches. Rivista di Avicoltura, 64(9):18-34; many ref.

Center of Disease Control, 1978. Botulism - United States. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 28:73.

Center of Disease Control, 1980. Wound botulism - Texas, California, Washington. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 29:34-36.

Chamberlain P; Thomas RJ, 1995. An outbreak of botulism in a deer herd in Queensland. Australian Veterinary Journal, 72(11):427-428; 9 ref.

Chiers K; Haesebrouck F; Devriese L, 1998. An outbreak of botulism in cattle caused by Clostridium botulinum type B. Vlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift, 67(5):296-299; 22 ref.

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Distribution References

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Lugt J J van der, Henton M M, Steyn B G, 1996. Type C botulism in sheep associated with feeding of poultry litter. Journal of the South African Veterinary Association, 67 (1), 3-4.

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Pommier P, Sauvage J Y, Lagrue D, Colcanap M, 1988. Type D botulism in dogs. (Botulisme de type D chez le chien.). Point Vétérinaire. 20 (116), 29-32.

Popoff M R, 1989. Review of the epidemiology of bovine botulism in France, and an analysis of its relationship with poultry farms. (Revue sur l'épidémiologie du botulisme bovin en France et analyse de sa relations avec les élevages de volailles.). Revue Scientifique et Technique - Office International des Épizooties. 8 (1), 129-145.

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