Botulism is a life-threatening paralytic illness caused by neurotoxins produced by an anaerobic, gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium—Clostridium botulinum. Botulism is a rare disease and only affects a few hundred persons each year in the United States. The vast majority of clinicians have never seen a patient with botulism.

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E. coli strains are grouped together into serogroups and serotypes based on differences in antigens in their cell walls (somatic, or “O” antigens) and flagella (“H” antigens). Non-motile strains may carry the added designation “NM.” The O antigen number corresponds to the serogroup and the O:H antigen number combination corresponds to the serotype. Specific O

The hepatitis A virus (HAV) causes an acute, self-limiting infection of the liver that is typically mild and resolves spontaneously. The clinical manifestations and duration of illness vary a great deal, with many persons, especially young children, showing no symptoms at all. The proportion of asymptomatic infections range between 30% in adults and up to

Recognized worldwide as the most common cause of dysentery, the Shiga bacillus—or Shigella—is a facultatively anaerobic, non-motile gram negative rod belonging to the family Enterobacteriaceae, so named because many of its members live in the intestines of humans and warm-blooded animals.

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Shigella:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm

Norovirus is a member of the “calcivirus” family (Caliciviridae). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that noroviruses cause nearly 21 million cases of acute gastroenteritis annually, making noroviruses the leading cause of gastroenteritis in adults in the United States. Norovirus is highly contagious and transmitted by infected individuals at an