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Pronunciation: bot′yū-lizm

Definition: Food poisioning usually caused by the ingestion of the neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum from improperly canned or preserved food; mainly affects humans, chickens, water fowl, cattle, sheep, and horses; characterized by paralysis in all species; can be fatal; pigs, dogs, and cats are somewhat resistant. In some cases (in infants) botulism may be formed in the gastrointestinal tract by ingested organisms.

[L. botulus, sausage]

See Also: Clostridium botulinum

Further information

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.