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Article
September 1920

THE POSSIBLE PATHOGENICITY OF BACILLUS BOTULINUS

Author Affiliations

WASHINGTON, D. C.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1920;26(3):357-366. doi:10.1001/archinte.1920.00100030101010
Abstract

As commonly discussed in the literature, the danger of botulism lies entirely in the toxin produced by the organisms outside the animal body. Freed from toxin, Bacillus botulinus and its spores have frequently been fed or injected without loss of experimental animals. Warnings against spoiled food have commonly indicated that such foods were freed from all possible dangers of producing botulism by boiling.1 The toxin is certainly destroyed by a brief heating at 80 C. or less. Certain strains of type B (for example the Nevin organism) and their spores are killed quickly at 100 C. More recently strains of type A (such as the Boise described by us in a recent paper2) have been shown to be very resistant. Clearly, a scrutiny of the organism itself as a possible source of danger was demanded. In examining suspected canned foods, B. botulinus has been found by us commonly associated with

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