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Veterinary bacteriology: information about important bacteria
Veterinary bacteriology

Species/Subspecies: Clostridium botulinum, group II
Categories: Causes hemolysis; spore forming; notifiable diseases and bacteria
Etymology: Genus name: a small spindle.
Species epithet: refers to sausage.
Significance:  [Very important]   
Type Strain: Referensstammar: Typ E: ATCC 9564. Sackarolytiska typ B: ATCC 25765. Sackarolytiska typ F: ATCC 27321.
Macromorphology (smell): Large greyish white colonies (5 mm in diameter) with very irregular edges. Gives β-hemolysis on blood agar.
Micromorphology: Large motile, spore forming rods (0.8-1.6 x 1.7 -15.7 µm).
Gram +/Gram -:G+ (kan vara svår att gram-färga).
Metabolism: Anaerobic
Other Enzymes: Esculinase -, lecithinase -, tryptophanase -.
Fermentation of carbohydrates:
Other carbohydrates: Fructose +, galactose v, mannose +, ribose v, xylose -.
Spec. Char.: Saccharolytic bacteria can hydrolyze di-, tri- and polysaccharides to monosaccharides, which are then fermented.
Special Media:
Reservoir: Meat, fish, dead invertebrates, canned products, sludge from ponds.
Disease:Botulism or botulinus intoxication is a serious and potentially fatal disease in humans and animals. Botulism is usually an intoxication caused by intake of preformed toxin. It may also happen that spores of C. botulinum germinate in the intestine or in a deep wound and the bacteria may then start to produce toxin. This condition is termed a toxicoinfection.
HostsDiseaseClinical picture
Humans (type A, B, E, F)Classic botulism, food poisoning
Wound botulism
Infant botulism
Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea (sometimes constipation), general malaise, dizzy, dry mouth, eye muscle paralysis (visual impairment, double vision), difficulties to speak and respiratory paralysis
Horse (type B)BotulismMuscle tremor, stumbling, knuckling and ataxia difficulties to lift the head. Dropping eyelids, large pupils, paralysed tongue with drooling saliva and inability to chew. Death due to respiratory failure.
Poultry (type C/D)Botulism (Limberneck)Paralysis of neck, wings and legs. Death due to respiratory paralysis
Mink (type C)BotulismPhotophobia, movement disorder, paralysis, recumbency, and dyspnea. Sudden death due to respiratory paralysis.
Cattle (type C)BotulismPartial or complete function of tongue, sudden death due to respiratory paralysis.
Virulence Factors: C. botulinum strains within group II produce botulinum toxin type B, E or F

The different toxin types have the same basic structure and mechanism of action, but are serologically distinct. Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxin, which is similar to tetanospasmin in structure and mode of action, but they act on different parts of the nervous system. Botulinum toxin is (like tetanospasmin) composed of two protein subunits and one is a protease that destroys the fusion protein to which vesicles containing acetylcholine should bind. Thereby inhibiting the signal transduction between the efferent (= motoric) nerve and muscle cells by preventing vesicles from anchoring to the membrane to release acetylcholine. This results in a flaccid paralysis. C.f. Clostridium tetani.

Botulinum toxin is very potent, and the lethal dose for humans is approximately 1 ng/kg body weight.

Genome Sequence:
Acc-noStrainSize (bp)Genome
CP001078 E3, Alaska E43 3 659 644 1c + 1c 
Minst två stammar av toxintyp E har sekvenserats och 0-1 plasmid har rapporterats.

16S rRNA Seq.:
Acc-noStrainNumber of NTOperon
L37592 ATCC 9564 1463 11 

, group II - Fig. 203:1. Phylogenetic tree, which illustrates the relations between members of the genus Clostridium (C.). Names of taxa in blue are included in VetBact and the taxon in bold is included in this bacterial page. Note that the species C. botulinum is distributed into four different phylogenetic groups. C. botulinum of toxin types B and F can also be found in group II. The tree was generated on line by using the computer program "Tree Builder" at the website of RDP. Bacillus cereus was chosen as outgroup. (T) means type strain and A-G refer to toxin type. Date: 2015-11-19.">Clostridium botulinum</i>, group II<i>  
About 180 differens species have been descibed within genus Clostridium. C. botulinum can be classified into four different phenotypic groups: I-IV. C. botulinum-strains within group III are most closely related to Clostridium butyricum, Clostridium beijerinckii and Clostridium uliginosum and not to any of the other three phenotypic groups of C. botulinum.
Legislation: In Sweden, botulism in animals and humans is notifiable to the Swedish Board of Agriculture and the Public Health Agency of Sweden, respectively. Clostridium botulinum belongs to category A as a potential bioterrorism agent according to NIAID.
Comment:Clostridium botulinum actually represents four different species (phenotypic groups), all of which have at least one of the botulinum toxin genes. In the case of C. botulinum, you can really say that taxonomy is not consistent with phylogeny.
The type strain is of toxin type A.
Reference(s): No. 4, 33
Link: Botulinum + Tetanus Toxin Mechanism

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