The pattern of growth observed for Clostridium botulinum type A1 strain ATCC 19397 is influenced by nutritional status and quorum sensing: a modelling perspective

Adaoha E C Ihekwaba, Ivan Mura, Michael W Peck, G C Barker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) produced by the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum are the most poisonous substances known to mankind. However, toxin regulation and signals triggering synthesis as well as the regulatory network and actors controlling toxin production are unknown. Experiments show that the neurotoxin gene is growth phase dependent for C. botulinum type A1 strain ATCC 19397, and toxin production is influenced both by culture conditions and nutritional status of the medium. Building mathematical models to describe the genetic and molecular machinery that drives the synthesis and release of BoNT requires a simultaneous description of the growth of the bacterium in culture. Here, we show four plausible modelling options which could be considered when constructing models describing the pattern of growth observed in a botulinum growth medium. Commonly used bacterial growth models are unsuitable to fit the pattern of growth observed, since they only include monotonic growth behaviour. We find that a model that includes both the nutritional status and the ability of the cells to sense their surroundings in a quorum-sensing manner is most successful at explaining the pattern of growth obtained for C. botulinum type A1 strain ATCC 19397.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberftv084
Number of pages9
JournalPathogens and Disease
Volume73
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Keywords

  • bacterial growth
  • C. botulinum
  • population dynamics
  • mathematical modelling
  • nutrient sensitivity
  • quorum sensing
  • toxin regulation

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