Microbiology 3302 Spring 2013 – Getting Friendly with Bacteria

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

  • Author
  • #13299


    Family: Clostridiacea
    Genus: Clostridium
    Species: Botulism

    I am a famous bacteria. In the 1820’s Jutinus Kerner named the disease botulism after the Latin word for sausage, owing to the fact that much of the food poisoning was attributed to undercooked breakfast meat. The bacteria and disease itself was classified by Prof. Emile Pierre Van Ermengem of the University of Ghent, Belgium in 1852.

    Hey guys, I am a rod-shaped bacteria. Did I say rod? I meant rad. I am totally rad like the mohawk hair style that a lot of you are sporting. I am gram positive and I form vegetative spores. I have many layers of peptidoglycan, forming a thick rigid structure. My cell wall helps me with cell growth and….. it helps prevent extensive wall breakdown and possible lysis(bursting). I am an endospore producing obligate anaerobe. Have you ever heard of staining? That’s what those microbiologists do to me when they want to see me under a microscope. They use this stuff called Crystal Violet and it colors me purple or blue because I am gram positive. I produce by binary fission ” I split” for most humans that means ” to go or leave” but, for me it means that I make a copy of myself. A lot of humans have been complaining about their living condition. “Something about someone named Sandy?” While people complain about poor living conditions, I love them because this is where I strive the most. You can usually find me in soil, marine sediments worldwide. I can also be found in pH 4.6 or higher, warm temps, elevated moisture and where there is a lack of competing bacteria. My type of bacteria is most commonly found as a spore. These spores are usually harmless, the danger occurs once the spores begin to grow out into an active bacteria and produce neurotoxins. These are poisonous chemicals that affect the central nervous system. The neurotoxins of Clostridium botulinum cause paralysis and ailments such as infant botulism, wound botulism, and botulism (food) poisoning. This is the most common form.
    Hey, I”m not all bad. As a teenager, my mom called me a “good for nothing,” but I am good for somethings let me explain; the neurotoxin of Clostridium botulinum is also used medicinally and can be quite effective. It is the first biological treatment of human diseases. The toxin is useful in treating certain neurological disorders characterized by involuntary muscle spasms: dystonia, blepharospasm (uncontrollable blinking), writer’s cramp, hemifacial spasm, spasticity in stroke, and cerebral palsy. C. botulism is also the chemical used for the cosmetic procedure of Botox. It can be used prevent the formation of wrinkles by temporarily paralyzing muscle. That one is for you ladies! Speaking of ladies have you met any of the women of my family? auntie C. perfringens, cousin C. difficile, and grannie C. tetani. The human’s call us freeloaders :-) my family always thought it meant that when we attend any occasion, its free and we don’t have to bring anything. Oh well, guess we were wrong. We heard that the Edwards were having a BBQ so I called all my family members as we decided to go. Well you guys know Mr. Edwards right? aka “Master Chef” so he thinks. He decided to make three lovely salads, seafood, fruit and vegetable. You guessed right, he used the fruit and vegetables that he canned himself at home. C. botulinum spores are often found on surfaces of fruits and vegetables and in seafood. Mr. Edwards also made this awesome honey bbq sauce and decided to give his 11 month old son Jr. a taste of the honey. Wouldn’t you know twelve to thirty six hours later Jr. had constipation, a few adults had nausea and vomiting. One human even had lack of muscle coordination ( they want to blame me, huh! probably had too much to drink). Children under the age of one year should not ingest honey.
    Thank goodness they all were able to get the antitoxin and are all ok.

Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.