What Are the Other Kinds of Botulism?
Wound botulism is caused by toxin produced from a wound infected with Clostridium botulinum. Wound botulism is associated with crushing injuries and illicit drug use. The increasing number of people who inject black tar heroin from Mexico is a growing concern, because this crude drug can contain C. botulinum spores.
Infant botulism is caused by consuming the spores of the botulinum bacteria, which then grow in the intestines and release toxin. A number of such cases have been associated with eating honey contaminated with C. botulinum spores (see Botulism in Honey).
Botulinum toxin has been a concern as a potential biological warfare agent since World War II. In response to concerns about Germany's research on botulinum toxin, the United States and Great Britain developed countermeasures against the toxin before the invasion of Europe.
More recently, Iraq has been accused of producing large amounts of botulinum toxin for use as a biological warfare agent. The extreme toxicity of botulinum toxin and the ease of production, transport, and delivery make this an agent of extreme bioterrorism concern.