Botulism is a rare but serious illness caused by a toxin that attacks the body's nerves and causes difficulty breathing, muscle paralysis, and even death. This toxin is made by Clostridium botulinum and sometimes Clostridium butyricum and Clostridium baratii bacteria.
The routine laboratory diagnostics of botulism is based on the detection of botulinum neurotoxin in the patient. Detection of toxin-producing clostridia in the patient and/or the vehicle confirms the diagnosis. The neurotoxin detection is based on the mouse lethality assay.
Detecting botulinum toxin can be performed in a liquid such as serum obtained from blood. It can also be detected from the remains of food eaten that has caused a case or an outbreak of botulism. To perform the test using remains of food it is necessary to obtain an extract filtrate from it.