Query: NC_017179:2513804 Clostridium difficile BI1, complete genome Lineage: Peptoclostridium difficile; Peptoclostridium; Peptostreptococcaceae; Clostridiales; Firmicutes; Bacteria General Information: Clostridium difficile BI1 is a human strain isolated in the United States in 1988. This species is now recognized as the major causative agent of pseudomembranous colitis (inflammation of the colon) and diarrhea that may occur following antibiotic treatment. C. difficile infection represents one of the most common nosocomial (originating in a hospital) infections. This bacterium causes a wide spectrum of disease, ranging from mild, self-limiting diarrhea to serious diarrhea and, in some cases, complications such as pseudomembrane formation, toxic megacolon (dilation of the colon) and peritonitis, which often lead to lethality among patients. The bacteria produce high molecular mass polypeptide cytotoxins, A and B. Some strains produce only one of the toxins, others produce both. Toxin A causes inflammatory reaction involving hypersecretion of fluid and hemorrhagic necrosis through triggering cytokine release by neutrophils. Cytotoxin B depolymerizes actin, the major protein of the cytoskeleton, and thus aids in destruction of tissues. The combined action of the toxins results in necrosis of superficial epithelium and edema (fluidic swelling) in affected areas of intestine. Proliferation of C. difficile is normally prevented by normal intestinal microflora, which is believed to inhibit attachment of the bacterium and its toxins to intestinal walls. Alteration of intestinal microbial balance with antibiotic therapy and increased exposure to the bacterium in a hospital setting allows C. difficile to colonize susceptible individuals. Moreover, it has been shown that subinhibitory concentrations of antibiotics promote increased toxin production by C. difficile.
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General Information: Clostridium botulinum B str. Eklund 17B is a nonproteolytic botulism neurotoxin B strain. This strain was isolated from marine sediments taken off the coast of Washington, USA and was not associated with botulism. 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. 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.