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Six cases of wound botulism in injecting drug users (IDUs) have been reported by the Public Health Laboratory Service Food Safety Microbiology Laboratory (PHLS FSML) in London since 1 August 2002 (1). This brings the total number of clinically diagnosed cases of wound botulism in IDUs reported in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland to 13 in 2002 (2, 3). The recent cases may be caused by a batch of drugs contaminated with the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Reports of wound botulism in IDUs are a relatively new phenomenon with no clinically diagnosed cases in the UK and Republic of Ireland up to the end of 1999. There were, however, six reports in 2000 and four in 2001 (4 and references therein, 5 and references therein).


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