This is caused by the production of toxin by C. botulinum spores introduced into wounds. This is often associated with dirty wounds, including following injecting drug use.
This is caused by the production in the gut of toxin by C. botulinum spores which have been ingested and have proliferated as bacterial cells. This form predominantly affects infants under one year old, and is rare, although when cases have occurred they have mainly been associated with the consumption of honey.
This is caused by the ingestion of preformed toxin in food. Foodborne botulism usually results from inadequately sterilised domestically canned or preserved foods, although cases and outbreaks have resulted from inadequately processed commercially produced foods.
In the UK, foodborne botulism is rare.
Visit the NHS Inform website for information on the types of botulism, its symptoms, and prevention.
- Visit the Food Standards Scotland website for information on the safe handling of food.
- View our guidance on the public health management of tetanus, botulism or anthrax among people who use drugs.