Thursday, March 1, 2012

Early history of botulism

The term ‘botulism’ derives from the Latin word botulus or sausage. For about 150 year botulism has been thought to be caused exclusively by food that was contaminated with preformed toxins.

This point of view changed in the 1970s, when botulism was found in babies who had ingested spores of Clostridium botulism; the spores germinated in the intestine and produced the toxin.

The earliest record of botulism go back probably to scripts in the Middle Ages and from the Roman Empire.

Outbreaks of poisoning related to sausages and other prepared foods first occurred in Europe in the 19th century.

Botulism was first observed by Julius Kerner, a district health officer in southern Germany, who reported symptoms of skeletal; and gut muscle paralysis, myadriasis, and maintenance of consciousness after the ingestion of improper preserved foods in 1820.

In 1895, Professor Emile Pierre Van Ermengem, of Belgium Professor of microbiology, first isolated the bacterium Clostridium botulinum.

He examined the food and the victims of food poisoning in village of Ellezelles and isolated the bacteria. Later he experimental on several animals, which provoked the typical symptoms of botulism.

In 1946 Dr, Edward J Schantz succeeded in purifying botulinum toxin type A in crystalline form-cultured Clostridium botulinum and isolated the toxin. Wound botulism was described in 1973 and infant botulism in 1976.
Early history of botulism

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