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Title: The generation of neurotoxin-minus reporter strains of Clostridium botulinum to facilitate the development of intervention and preservation systems in food
Author: Humphreys, Christopher Michael
ISNI:       0000 0004 5359 4498
Awarding Body: University of Nottingham
Current Institution: University of Nottingham
Date of Award: 2014
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Clostridium botulinum is an anaerobic, endospore-forming, Gram-positive species comprising four distinct groups (I, Il, Ill, and IV) based on physiological and metabolic characteristics, that all share the ability to secrete an exceptionally potent neurotoxin, the causative agent of the potentially fatal paralytic condition known as "botulism". Food-borne botulism arises when C. botulinum. spores are able to contaminate food to be sealed inside anaerobic packaging, where the spores are then able to germinate, grow and elaborate toxin. Due to the potential severity of the condition, C. botulinum has remained the principal target for the food processing industry for over a century, prompting a heavy emphasis on research into increasing the efficacy and efficiency of intervention and preservation systems. Due principally to the extreme potency of the neurotoxin and its potential for use in bioterrorism, the government has labelled the Botulinum Neurotoxin as a category A Select Agent. This fact, alongside the necessary safety measures required to safely manipulate the organism, restricts the use of the C. botulinum to only a handful of specialised research facilities, resulting in the need for a surrogate organism for routine development of intervention and preservation systems in food. This study outlines the development of novel genetic tools, and subsequent generation and characterisation of a neurotoxin negative reporter variant of a representative Group I strain of Clostridium botulinum, suitable for use in the assessment of the efficacy of current and novel commercial food preservation techniques on the ability of the strain to survive, grow and elaborate toxin.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available