BMJ Case Reports 2013; doi:10.1136/bcr-2012-007799

Food-borne botulism: still actual topic

  1. Pawel Gruenpeter2
  1. 1Neurology Department with Stroke Unit, Specialist Hospital in Konskie, Konskie, Poland
  2. 2Neurology Department with Stroke Unit, District Hospital Bedzin—Czeladz, Czeladz, Poland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Waldemar Brola, wbrola{at}


Even though since the mid-1990s the number of food-borne botulism cases has systematically decreased and it now occurs in Poland relatively rarely, it is still a real epidemiological problem. There are about 30 cases of botulism in Poland a year, which ranks Poland the first among the European Union. In most cases the symptomatology of botulism is typical, however it does not always fully coincide with the one described in medical manuals which emphasise the dramatic clinical course of botulism with its frequent fatal consequences. Diagnosis of botulism may be difficult because of its rare prevalence and a variable clinical course, especially in old patients. Authors of this paper describe two cases of botulism and diagnostic problems associated with it.

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