View Single Post
Old 09-19-2006, 09:59 PM
kskerr's Avatar
kskerr kskerr is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Ames, IA/Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,167

Clostridium botulinum is an intersting organism, it is the causeative agent of botulism. C. botulinum type E can be found in the sea and therefore in fresh seafood, it is an anaerobe, meaning it grows without oxygen, and so it becomes a problem if the fresh fish is vacuum packed, which is illegal to do because of the risk involved. It can also grow at refridgeration temperatures, most pathogens cannot, but then how this organism causes disease is not by infecting a body, it only does that in infants and people who have had their intestinal bacteria greatly reduced because normal gut bacteria block it from growing and so it just passes thoguht. It produces toxins (I think there are actually 7 of them) when it goes from its dormant state to its active state (spore to vegetative cell, called germination). It is the toxin and not the organism that causes the symptoms so one need not ingest the organism to get sick (or often die with this one). The good thing about this one is that the toxin is heat labile, in other words heat kills the toxin, so if contaminated food is boiled or heated high enough it becomes safe. Improperly canned foods (generally from home canning not industrial) is a common source of botulism, it is somewhat common for a person preparing the food to be the only one in a family to fall ill because they will often taste the food before it has reached the proper temperature to inactivate the toxin. The symptoms of botulism mimick a stroke, often making it difficult to diagnose quickly.

And there you have my avoiding my grant writing assignment essay which is sadly most likley more words than is allowed for the assignment I do not want to do...
~~Nonpathogenic microbes are our friends~~
Reply With Quote