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Tag Archives | Clostridium botulinum

Clostridium botulinum and its spore (inset) 
Jason Brunt, Kathryn Cross and Mary Parker

Discovery of mechanism for transfer of botulinum neurotoxin genes

A new study has shown how Clostridium botulinum could potentially transfer their deadly neurotoxin genes to other bacteria. This highlights the need for constant vigilance in identifying new threats to food safety. The botulinum neurotoxin is the most potent known, and has been much studied because of this, helping ensure it doesn’t get into our […]

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New research quantifies Clostridium botulinum spores in raw food materials

A study from the Institute of Food Research has provided new evidence on the background levels of spores of Clostridium botulinum in raw food ingredients that is helping the food industry deliver safe chilled foods more sustainably. Botulism is a serious form of food poisoning, caused by a deadly neurotoxin produced by the bacterium Clostridium […]

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Arnoud-Van-Vliet-public-lecture-30915[2263]

Would you like food poisoning with that?

It’s not a side order most of us would choose, yet over a million people in the UK suffer from some form of food poisoning each year. Arnoud van Vliet from IFR’s Food Safety Centre, gave the latest IFR Public Lecture last month. His talk covered the bacteria that cause food poisoning, why they are […]

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Spores for thought: study provides new insights into Clostridium spores

Researchers at the Institute of Food Research have established how clostridia bacteria emerge from spores. This could help them understand how these bacteria germinate and go on to produce the deadly toxin responsible for botulism, a lethal form of food poisoning, or cause food spoilage. Clostridium botulinum bacteria produce the deadliest toxin known. Even tiny […]

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New insights into botulism toxin

A recent study from the Institute of Food Research has uncovered new information about the genes Clostridium botulinum uses to produce its deadly toxin. An analysis of closely related strains of one particular type of C. botulinum showed that the toxin genes are carried exclusively on plasmids, and the plasmids were linked to the geographical […]

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Pleurotus_eyngii

Optimising mushroom spawn production in Uganda

Scientists at the Institute of Food Research are helping in the expansion and diversification of mushroom cultivation in Uganda. A new two year project ultimately aims to improve the diets of Ugandans, increase the incomes of local farmers and create a sustainable trade through training and research. By the end of the project, it is […]

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Dr Pradeep Malakar

China Partnering Award to deliver safer foods

A BBSRC China Partnership Award has allowed the Institute of Food Research to build up a fruitful relationship with Chinese scientists, to contribute to reducing the risks of food poisoning. Foodborne botulism is a serious health concern, causing life-threatening illness and long-term health effects. In the UK regulators, food companies and researchers have come together […]

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A Clostridium botulinum spore

Mining the botulinum genome

The toxin that causes botulism is the most potent that we know of. Eating an amount of toxin just 1000th the weight of a grain of salt can be fatal, which is why so much effort has been put into keeping Clostridium botulinum, which produces the toxin, out of our food. The Institute of Food […]

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Genome sequencing used to assess the threat to biosecurity from a novel form of Clostridium botulinum

Genome sequencing used to assess the threat to biosecurity from a novel form of Clostridium botulinum

Scientists on the Norwich Research Park have sequenced the genome of a novel strain of Clostridium botulinum, one of the most dangerous pathogens known to man. The strain produces an unusual botulinum neurotoxin, known as type A5 neurotoxin, which was isolated by the Health Protection Agency (HPA), following a case of wound botulism. Professor Mike […]

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