– Two previously healthy infants, a boy of 10 weeks and a girl of 4 months presented with apathy and muscle weakness. A third previously healthy child, a girl of 6 weeks old was admitted with respiratory insufficiency. None of the three had had a bowel movement for a number of days. After extensive investigations which revealed few abnormalities Clostridium botulinum toxin was obtained in serum from all three children. Type-B-toxin was shown in the faeces of the older girl and boy; both recovered quickly. The other girl had type-A toxin; she died. Two of the three children were given honey to comfort them. Infantile botulism must be considered in every infant with symptoms of constipation and hypotonia. The diagnosis can quickly be confirmed by electromyography with repetitive 50-Hz-stimulation. Honey is a well-known source of the C. botulinum spore and should not be given to children under the age of 12 months. These three children are the first cases to be described in the Netherlands.
Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd 2005;149:826-31