• Microbigals

The Curse Of Clostridium botulinum’s Mummy-like Symptoms



The curse of clostridium botulinum does not reside within a medallion nor is it buried in the depths of an ancient tomb; rather it’s the ancient curse of beauty, the hope of finding the fountain of youth by any means necessary, even if it means poisoning yourself.


Ummm…. Ms. LaFarge, what do you mean? Do the Giants choose to poison themselves? That’s absurd!


Yes Makal, they choose to poison themselves, but more on that later. Also, thanks for ruining the perfectly macabre momentum I had. You really killed the mood.



Sorry….


At any rate in today’s lecture, we will discuss clostridium botulinum symptoms, what is Clostridium botulism, and botox uses. Let’s begin.


What Is Clostridium Botulism and what does it have to do with Mummies?


Unlike many of the giant Halloween monsters, mummies are real; they aren’t a mere hyperbole of reality but rooted in ancient Egyptian traditions.

Real mummies are often wrapped in bandages and have been preserved in such a way that they will not decay, even for thousands of years like the Egyptian Pharaohs.


The Egyptians believed this process would allow you to live forever in the afterlife, and disturbing a Pharaoh’s tomb - as the giants so often have - would release the “curse of the pharaohs,” and outcomes a stiff-legged walking powerful undead being filled with a vengeance for disturbing their afterlife...and their beauty sleep.


Nothing frightens the giants more than aging. So let’s get into how the giants intentionally poison themselves to preserve their idea of beauty in the ancient fight against aging. Now if you're thinking, wait a minute, Botox uses aren’t really the same as creating a mummy at all, you are correct. But, if you’ve ever seen a giant right after Botox, it's far scarier and more unnatural than any Mummy movie I’ve seen and far more sinister in its origins and motivations than anything I’ve ever done.


Becky, you massacred a whole village of Pseudomonas!


Right, yeah, I’m not sure I see your point…. Anyways more on Botox uses later. Let’s get into what is clostridium botulism.


Clostridium Botulinum symptoms


Now you might be wondering, what is Clostridium botulism, botulinum toxin, or perhaps you just want to know the Clostridium botulinum symptoms? Well, to answer what botulism is, it is a disease caused by Clostridium botulinum and is the keeper of one of the most deadly toxins against the giants!


The Clostridium botulinum symptoms are horrifying and they have the power to kill giants and their food with as little as 30ng (nanograms or 3 hundred millionth of a gram) of toxin. For the Giants out there a raisin is about .5 g nanograms is like taking that raisin and cutting it into a billion pieces. With that tiniest little amount, Clostridium botulinum symptoms will start to appear.


The Giants place it among the highest priority of bioterrorism agents as they should because the ghastly Clostridium botulinum symptoms of ingesting this toxin is enough to bring any heartless Giant to their knees. Once affected by this tortuous toxin, the victims would gladly replace their darkest nightmare to replace their new realities.



Clostridium Botulinum Symptoms:

  • Weak muscles

  • Blurred and double vision

  • Eye paralysis

  • Difficulty breathing and swallowing

  • Drooping facial features

  • Speech alterations


Clostridium Botulinum Symptoms Of Foodborne Botulism:

  • Stomach pain

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Diarrhea

  • Respiratory failure

  • Fatigue

  • Constipation

  • Abdominal swelling


Clostridium Botulinum Symptoms Of Infant Botulism:

  • Constipation

  • Poor feeding

  • Weak cry

  • Irritability

  • Drooling

  • Paralysis

  • Floppy Movements


Clostridium Botulinum Symptoms of Wounds:

  • Difficulty swallowing

  • Paralysis

  • Trouble breathing

  • Impaired vision

  • Facial weakness


Oh, my microbe. This is terrible. The Clostridium Botulinum symptoms are so much worse than I thought. Why are they not on the Society of Symbionts Most Wanted List?


For the same reason, I’m not.


Becky….. you were on the Society’s Most Wanted List.


But Not anymore Simon, I’m rehabilitated. :p As my handler, aren’t you supposed to be encouraging me to rehabilitate myself back into society, not constantly reminding me of this one bad thing I did this one time?


It happened more than once.


Correction, I was only caught once. ;) Regardless, Clostridium, much like myself, occasionally gets caught at the wrong place at the wrong time.


Clostridium Characteristics and botulinum toxin


Botulism is actually a fairly rare disease caused by Clostridium species, mostly by Clostridium botulinum, Clostridium butyricum, and Clostridium baratii. Like many Clostridium species feared by the giants, they are really more misunderstood than the “opportunistic villains” the giants like to refer to them as. In 2017, in the landmass, the giants call America, only 182 cases of botulism were confirmed and no deaths were reported. See, they are hardly the same level of killers as Cholera, Covid, and other members of the Most Wanted.


These microbes are club-like in shape and are found in many environments without oxygen making them anaerobic. They are Gram-positive bacillus and can create spores that help protect themselves from harsh inhospitable environments. These microbes can create a metabolite that happens to be toxic to the giants known as botulinum toxin. To produce the toxin, C. botulinum needs the right conditions.



Perfect botulism toxin conditions:


These conditions are most often seen in botched home-canning jobs and improper storing of food. Canning is a great way to preserve excess food and is often a great source of probiotics (good gut bacteria). Honey is the top source of infant botulism among baby Giants, but they can also contract it anytime the baby giants ingest C. botulinum spores.


C. botulinum doesn’t just produce one toxin...it produces 7 different kinds. Luckily, their naming system is pretty simple; they are simply named toxin A- toxin G. The most relevant toxins to the giants are A, B, and E. These toxins cling to the nerve endings that connect to muscles and prevent them from contracting, limiting movement and causing paralysis. The giants have found ways to harness this toxin in a product they call Botox. Today there are so many botox uses in the giant's world.


Botox uses: Bioterrorist or the Giants Fountain of Youth?


Now that we have an understanding of fear, Clostridium botulinum can spread in the giant's world, let’s talk about the hope it brings and other Botox uses. Clostridium botulinum, the causal agent of botulism is also the superficial fountain of youth, erasing wrinkles and virtually turning back time. Clostridium botulinum toxin is the reason the Giants have Botox.


Now, for those of you a little slow in the class, Botox is a combination of Botulinum Toxin. Clinically, Botox uses in the giant world predominantly involve the botulinum toxin A. While cosmetics are the most well-known Botox uses, this toxin can also be used for other purposes. Formulated and administered correctly, Botox uses can treat overly sweaty giants (hyperhidrosis) and some forms of eczema (pompholyx). Treating uncontrollable blinking, chronic migraines, and an overactive bladder are other botox use in the giant's world.


But how does it do all this?


Excellent question Yando! Botox blocks the release of acetylcholine which is a chemical in many animals that is known as a neurotransmitter. About 30 minutes or so after injection, the toxin will bind to receptors in the giants. Naively, the curious nerve cells investigate this new foreign alien element. Their investigation involves blindly enveloping the toxin-receptor complex, essentially bringing the toxin into itself. Next, the toxin is moved to a new location within the cell for further investigation where the toxin attacks! The toxin then slashes a protein rendering it nonfunctional. This is what blocks the release of acetylcholine resulting in immediate relaxation of local muscles. A small dose of Botox of 20 units is generally regarded as safe amongst humans and results in few side effects.


So a bioterrorism agent or a way to live youthfully forever? Whether it’s the slaying of acetylcholine causing muscle submission and relaxation, the obsessive need to cheat death and prevent decay by portraying youth, or ghastly and torturous symptoms of contracted botulism, it’s easy to see how Clostridium botulinum made into our class of Macabre Microbes.


Ok class that’s all for today. I hope you now understand a little more about Clostridium botulism, Clostridium botulinum symptoms, and what Botox is. Next week we will look at another macabre microbe that has links that turn humans into witches and may have incidentally killed 25 people in 17th century America!



Oh, and homework for next week. Drop a comment below on your favorite macabre microbe!










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