About this Research Topic
Botulism is a rare but severe neuro-paralytic disease affecting humans, all blood-warmed animals and some fishes. The disease is due to the action of botulinum neurotoxins that are considered the most potent poison known for human. Because their high potency, botulinum neurotoxins represent a concern also as biological weapons. These toxins are produced by heterogeneous group of anaerobic, spore-forming organisms belonging to the genus Clostridium also known as botulinum toxin-producing clostridia. Thanks to the improvement of genomics, several toxin types and sub-types have been recognized. In addition, genes presenting homology with those encoding for botulinum toxins have been identified in some non-Clostridium species.
At global level the wide distributed form of botulism is due to the ingestion of toxins preformed in foods or feeds (foodborne botulism), however, neurotoxigenic organisms can produce them in human/animal intestinal lumen (toxico-infection forms) or in infected wounds (wound botulism).
Since the identification of botulism as natural-poison disease, several advances in pathogenicity, and pathophysiology mechanisms, as well as in control and prevention strategies, have been accomplished, however, several aspects still remain poorly investigated or need to be elucidated. The gaps of knowledge on biology, physiology, and ecology of botulinum toxin-producing clostridia also impact on epidemiology and on strategies for disease control and prevention. In addition, some recent concerns such as the climate changes and the modified eating behaviors poses new challenges for public health authorities, industry, and academia. With the goal of overcome these gaps of knowledge, this Research Topic focuses on the important concerns and challenges related to human and animal botulism, botulinum toxins- producing clostridia and their toxins.
Potential topics include, but are not limited to:
• Innovative detection and typing approaches addressed to botulinum toxin-producing clostridia and botulinum neurotoxin
• Factors influencing growth and toxinogenesis of botulinum toxin-producing clostridia, including regulatory mechanisms
• Genomics and other omics
• Pathogenesis and pathophysiology
• Epidemiology, molecular epidemiology, and outbreaks investigation
• Control and prevention
• Stress response and quorum sensing
• Risk assessment and innovative strategies for risk mitigation
• Processing technologies also in the perspective of safety and sustainable productions
• Role of climate changes and circular economy on risk of botulism for human and animals.
Original Research, Methods, Hypothesis and Theory opinions, Reviews, Mini-Review, Comments on the aforementioned topics are welcome.
Keywords: diagnosis, control, prevention, epidemiology, risk assessment, industry
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