In this essay, it is done a description of the Bacteria species Lactobacillus casei and Clostridium botulinum about what regards their common features and similarities about their roles in the ecological niches they are found in.
They have similar pH levels to be able to grow; they both are found in various ecological niches and also have therapeutic uses. In opposition to such, as for the characteristics in terms of oxygen levels of their environments, Clostridium botulinum is more demanding, requiring always low-oxygen levels to be present in the bacteria form and to be able to grow, while Lactobacillus casei is much more adaptive.
Keywords: Lactobacillus casei, Clostridium botulinum, characteristics, similarities, differences, ecological niche, environments, roles, applications.
Lactobacillus casei is characterized as being a rod-shaped, Gram-positive species of Bacteria, which lives in facultative anaerobic environments. The different strains are then classified according to the high variability that can be found developing in various and different niches. Their optimum pH level for growth is 5.5.
A very adaptive species is being regarded in this essay, which can be isolated from many different niches: it can be found in almost any dairy product, both raw and fermented ones, in plant products (also fresh or fermented as well), and also in the intestinal and reproductive tracts of various animals, which includes humans.
Being present in so many different environments, these bacteria can also be applied in many different areas, such as the ones of food industry, being present in milk fermentation or in flavor intensification processes of some cheese varieties. Furthermore, they can also be used for medical purposes and treatments, together with their product – lactic acid.
On the pharmaceutical area, the lactic acid that Lactobacillus casei produces is also very important. This bacterial species can be used as a human probiotic, so that the microbial flora of the gastrointestinal tract is kept in good balance, and also by promoting health welfare, because it can truly reduce the cholesterol levels, enhance the immune system response, control the intestinal transit, prevent diarrhea onset, give some alleviation in lactose intolerance cases, and also prevent the development of other pathogenic bacteria species.
Clostridium botulinum is found present in both soil and marine sediments spread worldwide, being their most common form their spores. These spores are also often found on the surfaces of fruits and vegetables, and also in seafood.
These bacteria have their best growth under conditions of low-oxygen and produce a powerful toxin. This toxin, on its turn, has its most common formation with improperly processed (or canned) food, done at home.
Since this species of bacteria cannot grow in a pH level below 4.6, acidic types of food, like most of the fruits, tomatoes, and also the pickles, these foods can be safely processed using a canner based on water bath. On the other hand, foods that have higher pH levels (like most of the vegetables and also meats) must undergo a pressured process.
Besides the life-threatening abilities of the toxin in produces, Clostridium botulinum’s toxin also has medical purposes, serving as base for remarkably effective and different treatments for disorders of involuntary muscle action; examples of such are the blepharospasm, strabismus cases, hemifacial spasm, some certain types of spasticity found in children, and other diseases.
Furthermore, the Clostridium botulinum toxin is also used in cosmetic procedures, being applied for the treatment of lines in the glabella region, and also as a well-known active component of anti-aging medications, such as Botox® and also Dysport®.
Recently, there are also reports that show that this neurotoxin can be used as an effective tool for pharmaceutical delivery of certain drugs.
Conclusion – Comparisons & Contrasts
Regarding these two species of Bacteria – Lactobacillus casei and Clostridium botulinum – similarities can be found in these bacteria, since they both have similar pH levels for growth to be permitted. They can also be found in various ecological niches. Furthermore, they both have pharmaceutical/medical uses, being applied in important medical treatments.
They also have some different characteristics: Clostridium botulinum is the only one that produces spores for adaptation to less inviting environments; now considering the environment type, the Lactobacillus casei facultative anaerobic species, while Clostridium botulinum always needs low oxygen levels – i.e. anaerobic environments – so that it can live and grow in the Bacteria form.
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