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rodlike bacterium

General CharakteristicsCommon name: BotulismScientific name: Clostridium botulinumIt’s a bacteria that causes the disease botulism.

THREE FUN FACTSMembers of the Japanese cult, Aum Shinrikyo, tried but failed to use botulinum toxin as a biological weapon.Infants inder the age of 12 months old souldn't be fed honey, for it may contain the botulism bacterium.Theraputic use of the botulism bacteria is use to calm muscle spasms and nerves.

FeaturesDomain: bacteriaKingdom: bacteriaIt is a prokaryoteunicellular and a heterotroph.

Mortality Rates"Botulism tends to occur in small outbreaks. Since 1980, infant botulism has been more common in the United States than food-borne botulism. Untreated cases of botulism are often fatal but with early diagnosis and the necessary supportive care, death can be prevented.Before 1950, the fatality rate associated with food-borne botulism was 60% to 70%, while currently it is 5% to 10% in developed countries. The risk of severe disease and death also depends on the toxin type. The fatality rate associated with infant botulism is about 2%. The fatality rate associated with wound botulism is dependent on the degree of wound contamination and ranges between 1% and 15%." (

HISTORY OF THE DISEASEMany nations produced the botulism toxin as a back-up for a bacteriological weapon for World War ll, however it was not used in combat.

Number of People Affected by the disease: 145 cases of botulism are reported in the united states each year on average. Foodborne cases have 15% of that number, 20% are wound and 65% are infant botulism.

Treatment for the Disease: Paralysis and respiratory failure may require the patient to be on a ventilator for several weeks, and even months. The disease can be treated with an antitoxin that blocks the action of the toxin flowing in the blood. Hospital care and support is the best therapy for all forms of botulism.

Date the Disease was First Documented:1735Name of Scientist who discovered Pathogen: Justinus KernerCountry of Origin: EuropeMethod of Transmission: Foodborne

Incubation PeriodsFoodborne botulism: typically: 12-36 hours after toxin ingestionearliest: 6hourslatest: 10 daysWound botulism and infant botulism: it is difficult to estimate incubation period because exposure times cannot be ascertained. Inhalational botulism: same as foodborne botulism.


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