Query: NC_012658:2525931 Clostridium botulinum Ba4 str. 657 chromosome, complete genome Lineage: Clostridium botulinum; Clostridium; Clostridiaceae; Clostridiales; Firmicutes; Bacteria General Information: Clostridium botulinum Ba4 str. 657 was isolated from an infant botulism case in 1976. The strain is a bivalent Ba strain, that simultaneously produces two different toxin types. 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.
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General Information: This strain is a virulent nonsporulating variant of strain Massachusetts used in vaccine production. Causes tetanus. This genus comprises about 150 metabolically diverse species of anaerobes that are ubiquitous in virtually all anoxic habitats where organic compounds are present, including soils, aquatic sediments and the intestinal tracts of animals and humans. This shape is attributed to the presence of endospores that develop under conditions unfavorable for vegetative growth and distend single cells terminally or sub-terminally. Spores germinate under conditions favorable for vegetative growth, such as anaerobiosis and presence of organic substrates. It is believed that present day Mollicutes (Eubacteria) have evolved regressively (i.e., by genome reduction) from gram-positive clostridia-like ancestors with a low GC content in DNA. Known opportunistic toxin-producing pathogens in animals and humans. Some species are capable of producing organic solvents (acetone, ethanol, etc,), molecular hydrogen and other useful compounds. This organism causes tetanus (lockjaw) in humans. At the tissue level, the bacterium then releases an exotoxin called tetanospasmin that causes certain nervous system irregularities by means of retrograde tramsmission through neurons to the brain. If nervous impulses cannot be checked by normal inhibitory mechanisms, it produces the generalized muscular spasms characteristic of tetanus.