Clostridium botulinum

The Wikipedia entry for Clostridium botulinum notes that:

Clostridium botulinum is a Gram-positive, rod-shaped, anaerobic, spore-forming, motile bacterium with the ability to produce the neurotoxinbotulinum.[1][2] The botulinum toxin can cause a severe flaccid paralytic disease in humans and other animals[2] and is the most potent toxin known to humankind, natural or synthetic, with a lethal dose of 1.3–2.1 ng/kg in humans.[3]

C. botulinum is a diverse group of pathogenic bacteria initially grouped together by their ability to produce botulinum toxin and now known as four distinct groups, C. botulinum groups I-IV. C. botulinum groups I-IV, as well as some strains of Clostridium butyricum and Clostridium baratii, are the bacteria responsible for producing botulinum toxin.[1]

C. botulinum is responsible for foodborne botulism (ingestion of preformed toxin), infant botulism (intestinal infection with toxin-forming C. botulinum), and wound botulism (infection of a wound with C. botulinum). C. botulinum produces heat-resistant endospores that are commonly found in soil and are able to survive under adverse conditions.[1]

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