False-positive serum botulism bioassay in Miller-Fisher Syndrome

Aurora Affiliations

Aurora Neuroscience Innovation Institute, St. Luke's Medical Cente


We describe a patient with acute progressive weakness and areflexia. Both botulism and Miller-Fisher variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome were initial diagnostic considerations, and she was treated with intravenous immunoglobulin and botulinum antitoxin. A mouse bioassay was positive for botulinum toxin A, although her clinical course, electrodiagnostic studies, and cerebrospinal fluid findings supported Miller-Fisher syndrome. This patient's atypical features offer points of discussion regarding the evaluation of patients with acute neuromuscular weakness and emphasize the limitations of the botulism bioassay.

Document Type

Case Report

PubMed ID