Wound botulism in a man who injected heroin
In a case study in PLoS Medicine, doctors report on the case of a 35 year old heroin user who came to the accident and emergency department with double vision, slurred speech, drooping eyelids, and eye muscle weakness. The diagnosis turned out to be wound botulism.
Wound botulism is a potentially fatal illness that occurs when spores of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum contaminate a wound, germinate, and produce botulimum nerve toxin.
The doctors made the diagnosis promptly, and so were able to offer appropriate treatment, including putting the patient on a ventilator and giving him botulinum antitoxin. The patient made a full recovery.
The team of doctors who treated the man, a team by led Professor Sanjeev Krishna (St George's Hospital, University of London), says that the incidence of wound botulism following heroin injection into skin or muscle has risen dramatically in the UK since 2000. The reasons for this increase remain unclear, they say, "but may involve contamination of specific batches of heroin as well as changes in injection practices."
Citation: Vera J, Hensiek A, Woodrow C, Crawley F, Krishna S (2006) Ophthalmoplegia and slurred speech in an intravenous drug user. PLoS Med 3(12): e453.
PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT:
http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get- document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.003 0453
PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-03-12-krishna.pdf
St. George's, University of London
Division of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Centre for Infection
London, SW17 ORE United Kingdom
+44 208 725 5836
+44 208 725 3487 (fax)
EMBARGO: MONDAY, 25 December, 5 P.M. PST
PLEASE MENTION THE OPEN-ACCESS JOURNAL PLoS MEDICINE (www.plosmedicine.org) AS THE SOURCE FOR THESE ARTICLES AND PROVIDE A LINK TO THE FREELY-AVAILABLE TEXT. THANK YOU.
All works published in PLoS Medicine are open access. Everything is immediately available without cost to anyone, anywhere to read, download, redistribute, include in databases, and otherwise use subject only to the condition that the original authorship is properly attributed. Copyright is retained by the authors. The Public Library of Science uses the Creative Commons Attribution License.
About PLoS Medicine
PLoS Medicine is an open access, freely available international medical journal. It publishes original research that enhances our understanding of human health and disease, together with commentary and analysis of important global health issues. For more information, visit http://www.plosmedicine.org
About the Public Library of Science
The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is a non-profit organization of scientists and physicians committed to making the world's scientific and medical literature a freely available public resource. For more information, visit http://www.plos.org
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Apr 2016
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.