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Use of Test

Detection of botulinum neurotoxin-producing Clostridium species and botulinum-neurotoxin in clinical, food, or environmental specimens/samples

Foodborne botulism is a Class A reportable disease; infant and wound botulism are Class B reportable diseases. Contact local health jurisdiction or the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) Bureau of Infectious Diseases (BID) at (614) 722-7221 to report suspect cases.

Test Includes

Mouse bioassay; Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR); Culture


Test is available to all clinical laboratories and local public health jurisdictions.

Prior approval of the ODH BID is required. ODH BID will advise on collection of appropriate samples.


Serum is generally not useful in the diagnosis of infant botulism.


Public health investigation testing - Exempt
Non-public health investigation testing - Fee Due

Causes for Rejection

Inappropriate specimen transport container; Unlabeled or mislabeled specimen; Inappropriate transport conditions; Incomplete or missing specimen submission form; Specimen leakage during transport; Inappropriate specimen for test ordered; Specimen outdated, exceeds appropriate time from collection to receipt; Quantity not sufficient to perform test; Improperly preserved specimen

Turnaround Time

9 days (negative); 17 days (positive)

Forms Required

Clinical Specimens - Microbiology Submission Form (HEA 2530)

Environmental Samples - Biothreat Environmental Sample Submission Form (HEA ENV)

Food Samples - Food Submission Form (HEA Food)

Specimen Requirements

Refer to “Botulism Specimen and Sample Guide”.

Shipping Requirements

Refer to “Botulism Specimen and Sample Guide”. Ship in compliance with federal regulation and local guidelines. Refer to the Shipping Resources page for more information.

Other Information

Botulinum neurotoxin-producing Clostridium species and botulinum neurotoxin are regulated as select agents by federal law. Contact the ODH Laboratory at (614) 644-4656 for information on handling of specimens or samples that may contain a select agent or toxin. See http://www.selectagents.gov/ for information on the requirements for storage, reporting and transfer of select agents and toxins.