Pemra Nesil1, Oytun Erbaş1

1ERBAS Institute of Experimental Medicine, Illinois, USA & Gebze, Turkey

Keywords: Botulinum toxin, Clostridium botulinum, foodborne botulism, food poisoning, gut microbiota, infant botulism


Food poisoning, in general, is unfortunate, but one type, in particular, is regarded the most dangerous: botulism. The name comes from the Latin bachelors, which means "sausage." It was first identified in processed meat. Foodborne botulism is caused by clostridial organisms that proliferate in the guts of infected people, then produce toxins that are absorbed and have systemic consequences. The toxin acts by interrupting signal transmission in the somatic and autonomic motor systems without affecting sensory signals or mental functions. Mild cases cause drooping eyelids and facial muscles. The smallest amount of this toxin, out of all the actual toxins that exist, would kill the vast majority of people. It is known that the gut microbiome is necessary to keep us healthy and resilient to drastic or harmful infections. Due to babies lacking the same level of immunity as adults, they are vulnerable to infection. They can ingest the spores, grow inside them, and produce the toxin. Thus, it is recommended not to give honey to babies as it commonly contains bacteria. When a baby is born, their bodies are covered in billions of microorganisms from their mother. Special sugars in mother's milk are designed to feed and promote specific microorganisms, act as a decoy for others, and affect the immune system. This system serves as a line of defense against infections transmitted through digestion, such as foodborne and infant botulism, to keep us safe. This study systematically reviewed the data for botulinum toxin which is produced by Clostridium botulinum and is deadly even in small amounts through foods, aiming to provide the importance of healthy gut microbiota.

Cite this article as: Nesil P, Erbaş O. Foodborne and Infant Botulism Linkage with the Gut Microbiome’s Impact on the Immune System and Mental Function. JEB Med Sci 2021;2(3):365-374.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declared no conflicts of interest with respect to the authorship and/or publication of this article.

Financial Disclosure

The authors received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article.