What Is Clostridium Botulinum?

Clostridium botulinum is a gram-positive, rod-shaped, anaerobic, spore-forming, motile bacterium that produces the neurotoxin botulinum.

History of Clostridium Botulinum

In 1895, clostridium botulinum was first recognized and isolated by Emile van Ermengem from home-cured ham implicated in a botulism outbreak.

He named the isolate Bacillus botulinus after the Latin word for sausage because back then, sausage poisoning was a common problem typically caused by botulinum.

However, he was proven wrong as isolates from subsequent outbreaks were always found to be anaerobic spore formers, which is why Bengtson placed it into the genus clostridium.

Later on in the late 20th century, researchers all around the world conducted studies on C. botulinum to find out how dangerous the bacterium can be.

Those studies revealed that C. botulinum is the most potent toxin known to mankind, natural or synthetic, with a lethal dose of 1.3 to 2.1 nanograms/kilogram in humans.

Furthermore, C. botulinum can cause a severe flaccid paralytic disease, foodborne botulism, wound botulism, and infant botulism in humans and other animals.

Lastly, the dangerous bacterium also produces heat-resistant and long-lasting endospores in soil — which is why it’s typically found in all types of soil.

Symptoms of Diseases Caused By Clostridium Botulinum

Clostridium botulinum is one of the most common causes of flaccid paralysis — a neurological condition that causes weakness or paralysis along with reduced muscle tone.

Patients of flaccid paralysis typically suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Dry mouth
  • Double vision
  • Blurred vision
  • Slurred speech
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty swallowing

Although none of those symptoms are serious, health experts say that flaccid paralysis can lead to permanent muscle damage if it’s not treated right away.

How You Can Treat Clostridium Botulinum

Since clostridium botulinum is developing resistance to antibiotics, there’s no knowing whether the medicine that can treat it today will work tomorrow.

Currently, doctors typically prescribe a drug called antitoxin to treat an infection or disease caused by botulinum. Antitoxin attacks the body’s nerves to prevent it from causing any more harm.

However, it does not heal the damage the toxin has already done.

All that being said, unless you’re already suffering from a disease caused by clostridium botulinum, you shouldn’t be worrying about the treatment.

You should be worrying about how to prevent the disease.

Remember, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. So why not take safety precautions right now, so you won’t have to face the risk of facing a problem caused by clostridium botulinum?

If you’re now wondering what safety precautions we are talking about, disinfecting your home and workplace with a solution that can kill clostridium botulinum is all you need to do.

How Alliance Enviro-Tech Can Help

Alliance Enviro-Tech can disinfect both residential and commercial spaces thoroughly.

Our Path-Guard® System can kill clostridium botulinum in under 5 minutes, giving you peace of mind to know your property is safe for everyone living or working there.

For more information, contact us to find out how we can help keep your property safe and clean.