BOTULISUM: A FOOD BORNE INTOXICATIONS

Botulisum is a food borne intoxication. It is caused by Clostidium botilinum. Clostidium botulinum is a G+ve rod shaped, endospore former, obligate anaerobes, gas former organisms present in the soil and aquatic sediments. It can grow at optimum temperature of 26-38 OC but it can also grows at 41OC. Clostridium botulinum grows on selective media i.e. Litmus milk .Clostridium causes botulisum by the ingestion of contaminated food such as canned food, meat, beans, peas and fruit juices. By the ingestion of canned food it produces neurotoxin that binds to the synapsis of the motor neuron, where it cleaves the synaptic vesicle membrane protein (synaptobravin) preventing the release of neurotransmitter acetylcholine. As the muscle do not contract in response to the motor neuron activity thus it causes the flaccid paralysis. The incubation period of botulisum is 18-36hrs. The symptom of botulisum includes blurred vision, muscle weakness, nausea, vomiting, dizziness and difficulty in swallowing. The lab diagnosis of botulisum can be done by haemagglutination test or by inoculation of mice with patient serum, stool or vomits. The preventive measure against the botulisum is by properly cooking the food for 15 min to destroy the endospore of Clostridium . Avoid taking the gassy or spoiled canned food and maintaining the personal hygiene conditions.

By -HOD – Dr. Usha Verma
Department – Medical Microbiology
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