A PCR survey of psychrotrophic Clostridium botulinum-like isolates for the presence of BoNT genes

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Isolates (259) of psychrotrophic Clostridium spp. associated with either blown pack spoilage (five isolates) or slaughter stock (254 isolates) were screened for the presence of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) genes using degenerate PCR primers capable of amplifying A, B, E, F and G BoNT genes. No BoNT gene amplification products were detected using DNA templates from the 259 psychrotrophic isolates, including 249 isolates that showed the same 16S rRNA gene Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (RFLP) patterns as authentic Cl. botulinum type B. It is concluded that although the growth of such micro-organisms in vacuum-packed chilled meat leads to product spoilage, it does not prejudice product safety.

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