Caister Academic Press

Molecular Epidemiology of Group I and II Clostridium botulinum

Miia Lindström, Maria Fredriksson-Ahomaa, and Hannu Korkeala
from: Clostridia: Molecular Biology in the Post-genomic Era (Edited by: Holger Brüggemann and Gerhard Gottschalk). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2009)


Clostridium botulinum, producing highly potent botulinum neurotoxin, is a diverse species consisting of four genetically and physiologically distinct groups (Groups I-IV) of organisms. Groups I and II C. botulinum produce A, B, E, and/or F toxins which cause human botulism. In addition, some strains of Clostridium butyricum and Clostridium barati produce type E and F toxins, respectively, and have thus been related to human illness. Human botulism appears in five different forms, such as the classical food botulism, infant botulism, wound botulism, adult infectious botulism, and iatrogenic botulism. Typical of all forms of human botulism is descending flaccid paralysis which may lead to death upon respiratory muscle failure. While the research and diagnostics of botulinum neurotoxigenic clostridia and botulism were based on toxin detection by the mouse bioassay until mid 1990Ős, the subsequent development of molecular detection and typing assays enabled rapid, sensitive, specific, and ethically acceptable molecular epidemiological detection, identification and strain characterization of these organisms, increasing our understanding of the epidemiology of botulinum neurotoxigenic clostridia and botulism read more ...
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