Infant Botulism, Israel, 2007–2021

Bar Goldberg, Dana Danino, Yoel Levinsky, Itzhak Levy, Rachel Straussberg, Halima Dabaja-Younis, Alex Guri, Yotam Almagor, Diana Tasher, Daniel Elad, Zina Baider, Shlomo Blum, Oded Scheuerman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Infant botulism (IB) is an intestinal toxemia that manifests as descending paralysis, constipation, and, in some cases, respiratory failure. Laboratory-confirmed IB cases are rare, and recent data in Israel are lacking. We conducted a national multicenter retrospective study of laboratory-confirmed IB cases reported in Israel during 2007–2021. A total of 8 cases were reported during the study period. During 2019–2021, incidence may have increased because of a cluster of 5 cases. Infant median age for diagnosis was 6.5 months, older than previously reported (3 months). Most cases occurred during March–July. Honey consumption was reported in 1 case, and possible environmental risk factors (living nearby rural or construction areas, dust exposure, and having a father who works as a farmer) were reported in 6 cases. Although IB is rare, its incidence in Israel may have increased over recent years, and its epidemiology and risk factors differ from cases reported previously in Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-241
Number of pages7
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


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