Food borne-botulism during SARS-CoV-2 pandemic time. A case and a possible familial outbreak in Barcelona
Introduction. Botulism is a potentially fatal neuroparalytic syndrome caused by Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin. The 25% are food-borne botulism cases.
Case report. We describe a confirmed case of botulism attended in our hospital in September 2020, together with a second case in a patient’s relative, suspected but not confirmed by laboratory tests. Clinical presentation consisted on general weakness, bilateral cranial palsy, mydriasis, and rapidly progressive tetraparesis in case 1, involving respiratory and swallowing function so she required hospitalization and support treatment. Non specific and transient symptoms occurred in case 2. SARS-CoV-2 infection was initially suspected in both cases due to pandemic situation in our country, ruled out by negative PCR. When B neurotoxin was detected in stool sample of patient 1 we confirmed the diagnosis of food-borne botulism probably linked to home-made conserved beans.
Conclusion. Early clinical suspicion, together with laboratory and electromyography findings, and support treatment provided at hospital were crucial for favourable outcome. Being aware of this rare syndrom might contribute to its better management.
Key words. Botulism. Case report. Food-borne botulism. Neuroparalytic. Outbreak. Surveillance.