Botulism (from Latin Botulinus, "sausage") is a paralytic disease rare but serious due to a bacterial neurotoxin, the botulinum toxin (formerly known as botulinum toxin) or botulinum, produced by different species of bacteria Anaerobic the genus Clostridium, most known as Clostridium botulinum. Human botulism is primarily associated with toxin type A, B and E. Their mechanism of action is inhibition of the release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction, blocking the transmission between nerve and muscle and leads to respiratory paralysis and locomotor.
The botulinum toxin is the most potent of all toxins known in nature. However, it does not withstand heat or prolonged exposure to oxygen, so poisoning generally occurs when one consumes the products used in glass jar or tin with too little caution: the vectors typical of botulism are therefore preserved home-made and eaten cold. An unusual case of botulism has been observed in Britain during the exceptionally hot and dry in 1976, when river levels dropped so low in some places by feeding the swans have accidentally ingested the substance from anaerobic layers, they generally do not they then presented the symptoms of botulism.
In humans, there are three kinds of botulism:
- food botulism, caused by eating food contaminated with botulinum toxin: it is therefore a foodborne illness;
- wound botulism, caused by the toxin in a wound infected with Clostridium botulinum;
- infant botulism, caused by consumption of spores of bacteria, which then develop in the intestine where they release the toxin.
All forms of botulism can be fatal and must be addressed urgently. Botulism food may become a public health problem when many people are poisoned from a single contaminated food source.
History of Botulism
In the early nineteenth century, medical authorities of the Duchy of Württemberg were alerted by an increase in the number of cases of fatal poisoning by ingestion of spoiled food. The cause was identified a decrease precautions of hygiene in the preparation of homemade sausages in the country due to widespread poverty in the population caused by the Napoleonic Wars. In 1802, the Government of Stuttgart enacted a public warning about "dangerous consumption of black pudding black smokers". The toxic agent was supposed to the prussic acid. But it is only 20 years later, in 1822 the poet and physician Justinus Kerner correctly identified the origin of this new poison which he thought was "the acid fats (Fettsaure). He gave a detailed description of the symptoms of botulism and also had the intuition of potential therapeutic applications of this poison.
- In 1870, doctors German Muller renames the "Kerner's disease" in Botulism (from Latin botulus, referring to the hose used in animal meats and beyond any hose stuffed with a sausage).
- In 1895, the bacterium responsible is identified by the Belgian microbiologist Emile-Pierre van Ermengem who named the Bacillus Botulinus "from a bacillus anaerobic, spore-forming and producing toxins
- In 1904, poor sterilization of canned is highlighted in connection with the poisoning of 32 people (21 sick and 11 dead) by Landman isolating a strain of Bacillus Botulinus having developed in canned beans.
- In 1923, Bergey Class Bacillus Outlines in the Clostridium by renaming Clostridium botulinum.
- From 1910 to 1970, 7 different types of toxins were isolated, including one specifically associated with fish or seafood