Significance of Spores in the Resistance of Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium botulinum Against Food Environmental Stresses (pp. 255-278)
Authors: (Jihong Li, Daniel Paredes-Sabja, Mahfuzur R. Sarker, and Bruce A. McClane, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pennsylvania, USA and others)
Abstract: Production of highly resistant spores is an important strategy used by Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium botulinum to resist food environmental stresses and cause foodborne disease. The expansive spectrum of their resistance properties allows these spores to resist nearly all natural and food safety-induced stresses, and undoubtedly contributes to the success of C. prefringens and C. botulinum as major foodborne pathogens. Interestingly, these clostridial species both exhibit strain-to-strain differences in food stress resistance properties. For example, the spores and vegetative cells of C. perfringens isolates causing food poisoning are usually exceptionally resistant to such food stresses as heat, cold and nitrites. This association suggests that food stress resistance is an important factor contributing to the success of C. perfringens as a foodborne pathogen. Recent mechanistic studies have identified a novel C. perfringens small acid soluble protein named Ssp4 and shown that this protein is important for spore stress resistance. It was also demonstrated that food poisoning strains producing resistant spores make a unique Ssp4 variant that is especially effective in protecting spores by binding tightly to their DNA.