Septic with Botulism

in STEMGeekslast month

         Botulism is a rather uncommon illness. Most of the trouble is in the toxin created by the organism Clostridium botulinum. Sometimes, other Clostridium species can also produce similar toxins.


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         In school, I remember learning about the food-borne version as well as infant botulism. Its cosmetic utilities can sometimes lead to accidental problems from time to time. The rarest of this uncommon illness, however, is the wound botulism.

         In the context with my line of work, I have only seen this once in the labs in a blood culture over my 7-year career. I didn't get to see the original gram stain of the specimen, but it would have looked something like this:


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         The design from Giant Microbe should make more sense now. The MALDI-TOF does not give a definitive identification of the organism. But, there are clues from the agar plates that could help with our suspicions.


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         The beta hemolysis would have been the biggest clue to the dangerous organism. This was something we had to notify the state health department and let them take over. As expected, the suspicious colonies were Clostridium botulinum.

         From that point, the culture was beyond the clinical lab. The state lab had to do toxin testing to determine if we need to incinerate all patient samples. The toxins are heat sensitive, so burning them was for safety reasons.

         So, how did the patient contract botulism and became septic?


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         Turned out, the patient made poor life choices. We often think of HIV, hepatitis, etc. when thinking about dirty needles. The reality is, there are more infectious agents involved. I don't know if the patient survived. If the patient did, there would have been more flak from the law enforcement side.

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Dat plushie.

A specimen in formalin, a lab test result, a grown organism on a lab, these stuff can tell a story with a patient's baseline.

Had a devout religious man sent his rectal tissue for suspicions of malignancy. Microscope examination showed sperm cells on the villi lining the mucosal layer.

Lab experiences are the best.

 last month 

Evidence don't lie.

Sometimes, they do tell something disturbing. I've had my share of results that most likely ended up going to law enforcements.

😬

 last month 

It happens.

Yikes! That is nasty! Don't do drugs kids!

 last month 

Drugs tend to cause more complications than expected.

If people have had a tetanus injection, would this stop other variations of the Clostridium bacteria?
And for your next article, could you write an Idiot's guide to what gram-negative and gram-positive actually mean please. TIA, I love this stuff :-)

 last month 

They are two different organisms, I don’t think one shot would help the other.

I think I’ve written about gram stains in the past.

canned food is one of this friend's favorite places!

 last month 

And then, there are cases like this involving needles.

As I read, I was thinking about people who get botulism toxin injected for cosmetic surgery. It never sounded like a good idea to me, and now it sounds even worse :)

 last month 

Not common situation for most people though.

looks like you can see Clostridium perfringens on peripheral blood smears in severe cases https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/internalmedicine/51/4/51_4_447/_article
Please post more articles like these, they make me get off my lazy but and read more :)

 last month 

C. botulinum is still less common than that, though.

good to know

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