The incidence of botulinus intoxication is relatively low if one considers the frequency with which Bacillus botulinus is encountered in nature. It is doubtful if the condition ever occurs in man or in his domestic animals except through foods that have been preserved by man-made methods, although according to Meyer and Dubovsky1Bacillus botulinus is found in the soil of practically every section of the United States. The fact that it is found even in the soil of virgin mountain forests indicates how widespread is its existence. As the bacillus is an anaerobe, its activities in food poisoning are more or less restricted to foods that are preserved or cured by processes whereby all uncombined oxygen has been excluded. This applies to foods that are preserved by faulty canning methods, to animal forage preserved in silos and to fodder or grain that is seasoned in granaries and barns.
SWAB CM. THE HISTOLOGIC BACKGROUND OF THE OCULAR SYNDROME IN BOTULISM. Arch Ophthalmol. 1930;3(4):437–450. doi:10.1001/archopht.1930.00810060055008
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