The identification in 1976 in California of infants with botulism (for references, see the companion article in this issue, p 586) prompted a review of state records of all 603 officially classified cases known to have occurred in California between 1899 and 1976. None of these cases occurred in an infant; the youngest case found was that of a 15-month-old child who became ill as part of a common-source outbreak of food-borne botulism.
As part of our efforts to elucidate the pathogenesis of infant botulism, we noted that milk products have rarely been associated with food-borne botulism1 even though pasteurization does not kill Clostridium botulinum spores.2 Because milk is the principal food of infants, we therefore undertook in 1978 a further review of all reported food-borne botulism cases linked to milk products. One such case that occurred in California in 1931 was listed as "suspected botulism" in Dr
ARNON SS, WERNER SB, FABER HK, FARR WH. Infant Botulism in 1931Discovery of a Misclassified Case. Am J Dis Child. 1979;133(6):580–582. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1979.02130060020002