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Microbiol Immunol. 1996;40(1):5-11.

Simple method for detection of Clostridium botulinum type A to F neurotoxin genes by ploymerase chain reaction.

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Hokkaido Institute of Public Health, Sapporo, Japan.


A polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based method was established to detect each type of neurotoxin genes of Clostridium botulinum types A to F by employing the oligonucleotide primer sets corresponding to special regions of the light chains of the neurotoxins. In this procedure, the PCR products were easily confirmed by restriction enzyme digestion profiles, and as little as 2.5 pg of template DNAs from toxigenic strains could be detected. The specific PCR products were obtained from toxigenic C. botulinum types A to F, a type E toxin-producing C. butyricum strain, and a type F toxin-producing C. baratii strain, but no PCR product was detected in nontoxigenic strains of C. botulinum and other clostridial species. The neurotoxin genes were also detected in food products of a seasoned dry salmon and a fermented fish (Izushi) which had caused type E outbreaks of botulism. Therefore, it is concluded that this PCR-based detection method can be used for the rapid diagnosis of botulism.

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