Published Date: 2006-12-15 00:00:00
Subject: PRO/EDR> Botulism, salted fish - Russia (Buryatiya)
Archive Number: 20061215.3527
BOTULISM, SALTED FISH - RUSSIA (BURYATIYA)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Tue 12 Dec 2006
From: ProMED-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Source: News agency "Regnum.ru", [translated by Mod.NP; edited]
The 1st death from a botulism in 2006 has been registered in Buryatiya. The
press-service of the Territorial Management of Federal Services for
Protection of Consumers' Rights and Human Well-being [Rospotrebnadzor] has
announced that a 66 year old inhabitant of the Zaigraevskiy district of
Buryatiya died before arrival of an ambulance after eating salted omul fish.
Noncommercial production has been found in Ulan-Ude [capital of Buryatiya -
Mod.NP] in the settlement of Vostichniy. Eight individuals have suffered
from botulism in Buryatiya since the beginning of 2006. Over the last 5
years, more than 400 cases of botulism have been registered in Buryatiya,
including 27 fatalities. All cases are connected to the use of salted or
smoked omul, prepared in domestic conditions or obtained from unknown
persons in places of non-authorized trade.
[Buryatiya is located in the southern part of Eastern Siberia, to the south
and to the east of Lake Baikal. The total area of the republic is 351.3
square kilometers, which is about the size of Germany. It is bounded by
Irkutsk and Chita regions, the Republic of Tuva, and in the south with
Mongolian National Republic. Fish dishes from omul (fried, salted, or
smoked) are traditional Baikal delicacies. - Mod.NP
The Omul or Arctic cisco, _Coregonus autumnalis migratorius_, is a
salmon-like fish found only in the waters of Lake Baikal in Siberia,
Russia. It is a vital food fish for the Baikal region and, for the rural
population, is often necessary for survival. Its caviar is considered a
delicacy. Apart from local consumption, export to the west of Russia is
important, though difficult due to the region's remoteness. Obtaining
smoked omul (and possible botulism) is a highlight (the former, not the
latter) for many travelers on the Trans-Siberian railway. A picture of the
fish can be found at:
A map of the republic can be found at:
ProMED-mail has posted reports of botulism from Buryatiya in past years and
always linked to fish.
The method of diagnosis of botulism is not stated here. Individual cases of
the paralysis can be confused with other diseases, but a cluster of such
cases is certainly likely to be botulism. Type E botulism is the type
frequently associated with fish products (1) so it is likely here.
Classically, botulism is a foodborne disease caused by the ingestion of
preformed toxin, although there also exists wound botulism (in which _C.
botulinum_ spores germinate in a wound) and infant botulism (in which the
spores germinate in the intestinal tract).
Types A, B, and E of human botulism are the most common. Although each type
has a similar symptom complex, Hughes and colleagues report that type E is
much more likely to produce initial lethargic mental status and more
autonomic dysfunction (2).
1. Weber JT, Hibbs RG, Darwish A, et al. A massive outbreak of type E
botulism associated with traditional salted fish in Cairo. J Infect Dis
1993; 167: 451-4.
2. Hughes JM, Hatheway CL, Ostroff SM: Botulism. In: Scheld WM, Whitley RJ,
Durack DT, editors. Infections of the central nervous system. 2nd edition.
Philadelphia: Lippincott-Raven, 1997, 615-28. - Mod.LL]