Query: NC_013766:679906 Listeria monocytogenes 08-5578 chromosome, complete genome Lineage: Listeria monocytogenes; Listeria; Listeriaceae; Bacillales; Firmicutes; Bacteria General Information: This organism, which causes listeriosis, is one of the leading causes of death from food-borne pathogens especially in pregnant women, newborns, the elderly, and immunocompromised individuals. It is found in environments such as decaying vegetable matter, sewage, water, and soil, and it can survive extremes of both temperatures (1-45 degrees C) and salt concentration marking it as an extremely dangerous food-born pathogen, especially on food that is not reheated. This organism is enteroinvasive, and utilizes an actin-based motility system by using a surface protein, ActA, that promotes actin polymerization, to spread intercellularly using the polymerized cytoskeletal protein as a "motor".
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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.