Clostridium Botulinum Essay

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Microbiology May 2, 2011 Clostridium botulinum In Europe during the late 1700s an outbreak of clostridial or “sausage poisoning” was responsible for many deaths. In 1895 Emile van Ermengem first recognized and isolated Clostridium botulinum from home cured ham implicated in a botulism outbreak. The isolate was originally named Bacillus botulinum [5]. However, isolates from subsequent outbreaks were always found to be anaerobic spore formers, so Bengston proposed that the organism be placed into the genus Clostridium as the Bacillus genus was restricted to aerobic spore-forming rods. The term botulus is derived from the Latin word for sausage. All species that produce the botulinum neurotoxins such as types A-G have been designated C. botulinum since 1959. Substantial phenotypic and genotypic evidence exists to demonstrate heterogeneity within the species. Because of this it has led to the reclassification of C. botulinum type G strains as a new species Clostridium argentinense[2]. These rod-shaped organisms grow best in low oxygen conditions and can be found in soil [6]. The bacteria form spores which allow them to survive in a dormant state until exposed to conditions that can support their growth. There are seven different types of botulism toxin designated by the letters A through G; but of these types only A, B, E and F cause illness in humans[4]. Clostridium botulinum is an anaerobic, Gram-positive, spore-forming rod that produces a potent neurotoxin. It is one of the most powerful known toxins that lead to the paralytic illness known as botulism. Botulism is a rare but potentially life-threatening bacterial illness. Clostridium Botulinum bacteria grows on food and produces toxins that, when ingested, cause paralysis. The incubation period for foodborne botulism is between eighteen to thirty-six hours , but can possibly occur as early as six hours or

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