Clostridium Botulinum - Taxonomy History

Taxonomy History

Clostridium botulinum was first recognized and isolated in 1895 by Emile van Ermengem from home cured ham implicated in a botulism outbreak. The isolate was originally named Bacillus botulinus, after the Latin word for sausage, botulus. ("Sausage poisoning" was a common problem in 18th and 19th century Germany, and was most likely caused by botulism) However, isolates from subsequent outbreaks were always found to be anaerobic spore formers, so Ida Bengston proposed that the organism be placed into the genus Clostridium as the Bacillus genus was restricted to aerobic spore-forming rods.

Since 1959 all species producing the botulinum neurotoxins (types A-G) have been designated C. botulinum. Substantial phenotypic and genotypic evidence exists to demonstrate heterogeneity within the species. This has led to the reclassification of C. botulinum type G strains as a new species Clostridium argentinense.

Group I Clostridium botulinum strains that do not produce a botulin toxin are referred to as Clostridium sporogenes.

The complete genome of C. botulinum has been sequenced Sanger.

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Clostridium Botulinum - Taxonomy History
... Since 1959 all species producing the botulinum neurotoxins (types A-G) have been designated C ... botulinum ...

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