Query: NC_005364:817786 Mycoplasma mycoides subsp. mycoides SC str. PG1, complete genome Lineage: Mycoplasma mycoides; Mycoplasma; Mycoplasmataceae; Mycoplasmatales; Tenericutes; Bacteria General Information: Causative agent of contagious pleuropneumonia in livestock. This genus belongs to the class Mollicutes (phylum Tenericutes), a taxonomic group of small (0.3-0.8 micron diameter) monoderm bacteria characterized by the lack of cell walls, reduced genome sizes, and obligate parasitic lifestyles (Krieg et al., 2010). Over 120 obligate parasitic species found in a wide spectrum of hosts, including humans, animals, insects and plants. Infection typically proceeds through the attachment of bacteria to host cells via assorted adhesins or, in some species, through highly specialized surface protein appendages. In some cases, subsequent invasion of host cells results in a prolonged intracellular persistence that may cause lethality. These adaptive strategies are involved in host cell attachment and invasion, as well as immune evasion. Although mycoplasmas are dependent on their association with eukaryotic host tissue in nature, most can be cultivated axenically if their fastidious growth requirements are met. Nearly all mycoplasmas derive energy only from glycolytic pathways, whereas some can hydrolyze arginine. Assigned to the genus Mycoplasma by historic taxonomic precedent, organism in the Mycoplasma mycoides phylogenetic cluster are in fact more closely related to other genera in the Mollicutes (Krieg et al., 2010).
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General Information: This organism produces one of the most potent and deadly neurotoxins known, a botulinum toxin that prevents the release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction, thereby inhibiting muscle contraction and causing paralysis. In most cases the diseased person dies of asphyxiation as a result of paralysis of chest muscles involved in breathing. The spores are heat-resistant and can survive in inadequately heated, prepared, or processed foods. Spores germinate under favorable conditions (anaerobiosis and substrate-rich environment) and bacteria start propagating very rapidly, producing the toxin.Botulinum toxin, and C. botulinum cells, has been found in a wide variety of foods, including canned ones. Almost any food that has a high pH (above 4.6) can support growth of the bacterium. Honey is the most common vehicle for infection in infants. Food poisoning through C. botulinum is the most frequent type of infection caused by this bacterium. The wound botulism that occurs when C. botulinum infects an individual via an open wound is much rarer and is very similar to tetanus disease. There are several types of botulinum toxin known (type A through type F), all of them being neurotoxic polypeptides. The most common and widely distributed are strains and serovars of C. botulinum that produce type A toxin.