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MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET - INFECTIOUS SUBSTANCES

SECTION I - INFECTIOUS AGENT

NAME: Clostridium botulinum

SYNONYM OR CROSS REFERENCE: Botulism

CHARACTERISTICS: Gram positive rods, sporeformer, anaerobic, produces neurotoxin under anaerobic conditions and especially in low-acid foods

SECTION II - HEALTH HAZARD

PATHOGENICITY: Three forms of botulism, all caused by the neurotoxin which binds irreversibly at the neuromuscular junctions of motor neurons: (1) Foodborne: rare, potentially life-threatening; caused by the ingestion of preformed botulinal toxin in contaminated food; characterized by acute flaccid paralysis involving the muscles of the face, head and pharynx, down to the thorax and extremities; death may result from respiratory failure; (2) Wound botulism: occurs subsequent to the growth of the organism in a contaminated wound; toxin is released into the bloodstream; same symptoms as above; (3) infant botulism: results from spore ingestion and subsequent growth and toxin production in the intestinal tract; affects infants under 1 year almost exclusively; wide spectrum of clinical severity

EPIDEMIOLOGY: Sporadic or family-grouped cases occur worldwide; in association with food products prepared or preserved to permit toxin production

HOST RANGE: Humans, animals including fish

INFECTIOUS D0SE: Unknown for infant botulism: cells/spores not normally toxic to adults; toxin is extremely potent

MODE OF TRANSMISSION: Ingestion of contaminated food containing toxin

INCUBATION PERIOD: 12 - 36 hrs after ingestion of toxin

COMMUNICABILITY: No person to person transmission

SECTION III - DISSEMINATION

RESERVOIR: Soil, water, intestinal tract of animals, contaminated food or agricultural products, including honey

ZOONOSIS: None

VECTORS: None

SECTION IV - VIABILITY

DRUG SUSCEPTIBILITY: Antibiotics generally do not improve the course of the disease; suspectible to penicillin G

DRUG RESISTANCE: Usually resistant to the aminoglycosides; may be resistant to tetracyclines and cephalosporins

SUSCEPTIBILITY TO DISINFECTANTS: Susceptible to many disinfectants - 1% sodium hypochlorite, 70% ethanol; solution of 0.1% sodium hypochlorite or 0.1N NaOH inactivates toxin

PHYSICAL INACTIVATION: Toxin destroyed after boiling for 10 min; moist heat at 120°C for at least 15 min destroys spores

SURVIVAL OUTSIDE HOST: Survives well in soil, water and agricultural products

SECTION V - MEDICAL

SURVEILLANCE: Monitor for symptoms; demonstration of toxin in serum, stool, gastric aspirate or implicated food

FIRST AID/TREATMENT: Intravenous/intramuscular administration of trivalent (ABE) botulinum antitoxin; assisted ventilation if respiratory failure occurs

IMMUNIZATION: Botulism toxoid

PROPHYLAXIS: Administration of antitoxin

SECTION VI - LABORATORY HAZARDS

LABORATORY-ACQUIRED INFECTIONS: 2 reported cases: one in association with the large-scale production and handling of botulinum toxin; the other caused by inhalation

SOURCES/SPECIMENS: Food products, clinical materials (serum, feces) and environmental samples (soil, surface water)

PRIMARY HAZARDS: Exposure to the toxin; absorbed after ingestion, or following contact with the skin, eyes, or mucous membranes including the respiratory tract; accidental parenteral inoculation

SPECIAL HAZARDS: Broth cultures grown under conditions of optimal toxin production may contain 2x108 mouse LD5O/ml

SECTION VII - RECOMMENDED PRECAUTIONS

CONTAINMENT REQUIREMENTS: Biosafety level 2 with materials known or potentially containing the toxin; Biosafety level 3 for activities with a high potential for aerosols, those involving production quantities of toxin, and those involving purified toxins

PROTECTIVE CLOTHING: Laboratory coat; gloves and gown (tight wrist and tie in back) when handling toxin

OTHER PRECAUTIONS: None

SECTION VIII - HANDLING INFORMATION

SPILLS: Use solutions of sodium hypochlorite (0.1%) or sodium hydroxide (0.1N) to decontaminate spills of cultures or toxin

DISPOSAL: Decontaminate before disposal; steam sterilization, incineration, chemical disinfection (sodium hydroxide)

STORAGE: In sealed containers that are appropriately labelled

SECTION IX - MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION

Date prepared: December 1999

Prepared by: Office of Laboratory Security, PPHB

Although the information, opinions and recommendations contained in this Material Safety Data Sheet are compiled from sources believed to be reliable, we accept no responsibility for the accuracy, sufficiency, or reliability or for any loss or injury resulting from the use of the information. Newly discovered hazards are frequent and this information may not be completely up to date.

Copyright ©
Health Canada, 2001

[Material Safety Data Sheets - Index]


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Last Updated: 2001-01-23
 

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