Clostridium botulinum

By: Antonio Peterson

Pathogen Information

Clostridium botulinum is a spore-forming bacterium. The bacteria causes Botulism; a form of food poisoning.

Symptoms

The symptoms you get include are doubled/blurred vision, slurred speech, and dry mouth. The time of onset is normally 18-36 hours but it can happen anywhere between 4 hours to 8 days.The disease can last months if you have paralysis of respiratory muscles.

Exposure

You can get it by eating contaminated food, or food not properly canned. Clostridium botulinum is found in sediments and in water. It is also found in food cans not properly canned or with low oxygen.

Avoidance

A way to avoid getting Botulism is to properly can food or to heat process food before eating it. To avoid giving infants Botulism you should avoid giving infants honey.

Treatments

The treatment for Botulism is the botulism anti-toxin. Another treatment is intensive supportive care.

Additional Info

The ideal tempeture is 35 degrees Celsius for proteolytic and 26-28 degrees Celsius for non-proteolytic strands, and areas with low amounts of oxygen. There are 7 strands of Botulism.