chapter  1
18 Pages

Introduction and Historical Perspective

References................................................................................................................14

Tetanus and botulism are lethal diseases of humans and animals that present as characteristic muscular paralyses consequent upon highly neurological disorders induced by members of the most potent group of acute toxins known. These powerful

toxins are produced by the anaerobic, spore-forming bacteria

Clostridium tetani

and

Clostridium botulinum

. Although these diseases have been known since antiquity when they were described by both Greeks and Romans, their bacterial origins were only recognized in the late 19th century.