WHAT IS IT?
Clostridium botulinum is a gram positive rod bacteria.
Spore forming organism
Botulinum toxin: this toxin will cleave the SNARE proteins that are required for the release of acetylcholine. The end result is the lack of muscle contraction.
Toxin/spore ingestion through contaminated food items (canned food, juice, honey) can result in the development of botulism.
- Contaminated canned foods typically will contain the toxin
- Raw honey can contain spores
Botulism is the typical condition associated with the ingestion of botulinum toxin.
Floppy baby syndrome is a result of spores colonizing the GI tract of infants.
Wound botulism: while rare, the organism can infect deep into wounds and relate its toxin.
Antitoxin is used to treat botulism.
Botox injections are the injection of this botulin toxin into the skin to promote relaxation of the muscles (and reduce the presence of wrinkles). These injections can also be used to treat focal dystonia, achalasia, and muscle spasms.
Page Updated: 08.05.2016