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Competitive Inhibition between Different Clostridium botulinum Types and Strains

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Mixtures of proteolytic and nonproteolytic strains of toxigenic Clostridium botulinum types A, B, and F; nonproteolytic types B, E, and F; Clostridium sporogenes; and nontoxic E-like organisms resembling nonproteolytic C. botulinum were tested against each other for the purpose of selecting a mixture of compatible C. botulinum strains for inoculated pack studies on the basis of their sensitivity to bacteriophages and bacteriocin-like agents. All of the proteolytic strains produced bacteriocinlike agents that were inhibitory to three or more of the other proteolytic types and C. sporogenes. When selected strains of proteolytic types A and B were grown together, type A cultures produced neurotoxin, but type B toxin production was inhibited. Nonproteolytic strains of C. botulinum also produced bacteriocin-like agents against each other. Of these, type E strain EF4 produced bacteriocin-like agents against both proteolytic and nonproteolytic types of C. botulinum and C. sporogenes. EF4, however, was not inhibitory to the nontoxigenic E-like strains. When EF4 was grown with type A strain 62A, it had an inhibitory effect on type A toxin production. Strain 62A inactivated the type E toxin of EF4 after 7 to 21 days at 30°C. On the basis of the production of these bacteriocin-like agents by different strains of C. botulinum and their potential effect on neurotoxin production, it is very important that compatible strains are used in mixtures for inoculated pack studies to determine the safety of a food process or product.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: U.S. Department of Commerce, NOAA, National Marine Fisheries Service, Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Resource Enhancement and Utilization Technologies Division, 2725 Montlake Boulevard East, Seattle, Washington 98112, USA

Publication date: December 1, 2004

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