John W Austin

John W Austin
Health Canada | HC · Bureau of Microbial Hazards

PhD

About

197
Publications
15,213
Reads
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3,873
Citations
Introduction
Chair, Botulism Reference Service for Canada Bureau of Microbial Hazards Food Directorate Health Protection Branch Health Canada Adjunct Professor, Department of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry, McGill University
Additional affiliations
January 2000 - January 2018
McGill University
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
September 1989 - August 1992
University of Victoria
Position
  • PostDoc Position
May 1987 - September 1987
University of Basel
Position
  • Visiting student
Description
  • High resolution TEM and STEM of bacterial S-layers.
Education
September 1989 - September 1992
University of Victoria
Field of study
  • Biochemistry and Microbiology
September 1984 - August 1989
The University of Western Ontario
Field of study
  • Microbiology and Immunology
September 1977 - June 1981
University of Windsor
Field of study
  • Biology

Publications

Publications (197)
Patent
Full-text available
A pane! of mAbs specific for FIaA protein flagellins of C. botulinυm have been developed. The mAbs have varying degrees of cross-reactivities with the FIaA proteins tested from multiple strains of C. botulinum.
Article
Full-text available
Background: Infant botulism is a rare toxicoinfectious disease caused by colonization of the infant's intestine with botulinum neurotoxin-producing clostridia (i.e. Clostridium botulinum or neurotoxigenic strains of C. butyricum or C. baratii). Our goal was to examine data from laboratory-confirmed cases of infant botulism reported in Canada to su...
Article
Contexte : Le botulisme infantile est une maladie toxicoinfectieuse rare causée par la colonisation de l’intestin du nourrisson avec la bactérie clostridia productrice de neurotoxines botuliques (i.e. Clostridium botulinum ou les souches neurotoxiques de C. butyricum ou de C. baratii). Notre objectif était d’examiner les données provenant de cas co...
Article
Full-text available
We report the complete genome (3.9-Mb chromosome, 5.9-kb plasmid) of Clostridium botulinum CJ0611A1, a type A(B) strain isolated from carrot juice distributed in Canada and linked to an international 2006 foodborne botulism outbreak. This strain encodes a full-length bont/A1 gene and a truncated bont/B gene.
Article
Full-text available
S‐layers are paracrystalline proteinaceous lattices that surround prokaryotic cells, forming a critical interface between cells and their extracellular environment. Here, we report the discovery of a novel S‐layer protein present in the Gram‐negative marine organism, Pseudoalteromonas tunicata D2. An uncharacterized protein (EAR28894) was identifie...
Article
Full-text available
Intoxication with botulinum neurotoxin can occur through various routes. Foodborne botulism results after consumption of food in which botulinum neurotoxin-producing clostridia (i.e., Clostridium botulinum or strains of Clostridium butyricum type E or Clostridium baratii type F) have replicated and produced botulinum neurotoxin. Infection of a woun...
Article
Full-text available
Thermal destruction kinetics of spores of Clostridium difficile ATCC 17857 was evaluated between 74 and 82°C and characterized using the first‐order log‐linear and Weibull models. Computed decimal reduction times using the first‐order model ranged from 4.39 min at 82°C to 146 min at 74°C, with a z value of 5.17°C. Thermal destruction data were also...
Chapter
Eating and drinking are essential to human survival but come with an inherent level of risk. To intake nutrition, humans must introduce a foreign substance into their bodies, and this substance may be contaminated by either infectious microorganisms or microbial toxins, threats which are undetectable to human senses. Bacterial agents of foodborne i...
Article
Full-text available
Bacterial flagella are cell locomotion and occasional adhesion organelles composed primarily of the polymeric protein flagellin, but to date have not been associated with any enzymatic function. Here, we report the bioinformatics-driven discovery of a class of enzymatic flagellins that assemble to form proteolytically active flagella. Originating b...
Article
Full-text available
Botulism in Nunavik, Quebec is associated with the consumption of aged marine mammal meat and fat. The objective was to identify meat handling practices presenting a risk of contamination of seal meat with C. botulinum. Potential sources of contamination were assessed through interviews with igunaq producers from five communities of Nunavik. These...
Article
•Diagnosis of infantile botulism does not require a history of exposure to ‘risky’ foods such as honey. The majority of cases of infantile botulism have no identified source. • Constipation prior to the onset of weakness is often the first clue to the diagnosis. This can make collection of stool samples difficult, and therefore alternate samples ma...
Article
Full-text available
Botulinum neurotoxins are diverse proteins. They are currently represented by at least seven serotypes and more than 40 subtypes. New clostridial strains that produce novel neurotoxin variants are being identified with increasing frequency, which presents challenges when organizing the nomenclature surrounding these neurotoxins. Worldwide, research...
Chapter
Staphylococci produce a whole range of toxins and extracellular enzymes, such as proteases, a hyaluronidase, a lipase and a nuclease that facilitate tissue destruction and spreading, membrane-damaging toxins that cause cytolytic effects on host cells and tissue damage, four types of toxins effective against leukocytes, exfoliative toxins, and super...
Article
Full-text available
Analysis of more than 150 Clostridium botulinum Group II type E genomes identified a small fraction (6%) where neurotoxin-encoding genes were located on plasmids. Seven closely related (134-144 kb) neurotoxigenic plasmids of subtypes E1, E3 and E10 were characterised; all carried genes associated with plasmid mobility via conjugation. Each plasmid...
Article
Full-text available
Clostridium botulinum Group II isolates (n=163) from different geographic regions, outbreaks, and neurotoxin types and subtypes were characterized in silico using whole genome sequence data. Two clusters representing a variety of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) types/subtypes were identified by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and core Single Nucleoti...
Article
Abstract On April 17, 2012, two adult females presented to the hospital with symptoms of botulism. Patient A displayed shortness of breath, increasing lethargy, ptosis, and fixed and dilated pupils, and was intubated after admission. Patient B presented with shortness of breath, vomiting, and stridor. Both patients consumed a meal consisting of a t...
Article
We sequenced 175 Clostridium botulinum type E strains isolated from food, clinical, and environmental sources from northern Canada and analyzed their botulinum neurotoxin (bont) coding sequences (CDSs). In addition to bont/E1 and bont/E3 variant types, neurotoxin sequence analysis identified two novel BoNT type E variants termed E10 and E11. Strain...
Article
Full-text available
Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and DNA sequence analysis of 26 strains of Group II (nonproteolytic) Clostridium botulinum type B4 showed that 23 strains carried their neurotoxin gene cluster on a 47–63 kb plasmid (three strains lacked any hybridization signal for the neurotoxin gene, presumably having lost their plasmid). Unexpectedly, no neuroto...
Article
Twelve strains of Clostridium botulinum group I spores, suspended in phosphate buffer (0.1 M) at approximately 107 CFU/ml concentration, were subjected to high pressure treatments (800 and 900 MPa; 0.5–15 min) at elevated temperatures (90 and 100 °C). The treatments were chosen to have a range of pressure/temperature severity to be able to discrimi...
Article
Full-text available
During 1985-2005, a total of 91 laboratory-confirmed outbreaks of foodborne botulism occurred in Canada; these outbreaks involved 205 cases and 11 deaths. Of the outbreaks, 75 (86.2%) were caused by Clostridium botulinum type E, followed by types A (7, 8.1%) and B (5, 5.7%). Approximately 85% of the outbreaks occurred in Alaska Native communities,...
Article
Full-text available
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are produced by phenotypically and genetically different Clostridium species, including Clostridium botulinum and some strains of Clostridium baratii (serotype F) and Clostridium butyricum (serotype E). BoNT-producing clostridia responsible for human botulism encompass strains of group I (secreting proteases, producing...
Article
Full-text available
The distribution and levels of Clostridium botulinum type E were determined from field sites used by Inuit hunters for butchering seals along the coast of Nunavik. The incidence rates of C. botulinum type E in shoreline soil along the coast were 0, 50, and 87.5% among samples tested for the Hudson Strait, Hudson Bay, and Ungava Bay regions, respect...
Article
Full-text available
Five cases of intestinal toxemia botulism in adults were identified within an 18-month period in or near Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We describe findings for 3 of the 5 case-patients. Clinical samples contained Clostridium botulinum spores and botulinum neurotoxins (types A and B) for extended periods (range 41-61 days), indicative of intestinal toxe...
Article
The regularly structured (RS) layer of Lampropedia hyalina was found to consist of two components; of these, the inner perforate layer was easily isolated from cell envelopes by dissolution of attached material by incubation in 2% sodium dodecyl sulfate at room temperature. The layer consisted of a 31.5-kilodalton polypeptide arranged in p6 symmetr...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, intact flagellin proteins were purified from strains of Clostridium difficile and analyzed using quadrupole time of flight and linear ion trap mass spectrometers. Top-down studies showed the flagellin proteins to have a mass greater than that predicted from the corresponding gene sequence. These top-down studies revealed marker ions...
Article
Full-text available
Proteolytic Clostridium botulinum is the causative agent of botulism, a severe neuroparalytic illness. Given the severity of botulism, surprisingly little is known of the population structure, biology, phylogeny or evolution of C. botulinum. The recent determination of the genome sequence of C. botulinum has allowed comparative genomic indexing usi...
Article
Thin sectioning and freeze-fracture-etch of the ovine ruminal isolate Mitsuokella multacida strain 46/5(2) revealed a Gram-negative envelope ultra-structure consisting of a peptidoglycan wall overlaid by an outer membrane. Sodium-dodecyl-sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoretic (SDS-PAGE) analysis of whole cells, cell envelopes and Triton X-100 e...
Article
Full-text available
A patient presented with a small-bowel obstruction associated with signs and symptoms of botulism. Fecal cultures were positive for viable Clostridium botulinum. This case emphasizes the importance of a broad differential diagnosis and doing a complete examination to account for all signs and symptoms.
Article
Flagellins from Clostridium botulinum were shown to be post-translationally modified with novel glycan moieties by top-down MS analysis of purified flagellin protein from strains of various toxin serotypes. Detailed analyses of flagellin from two strains of C. botulinum demonstrated that the protein is modified by a novel glycan moiety of mass 417...
Article
Flagellins from Clostridium botulinum were shown to be post-translationally modified with novel glycan moieties by top-down MS analysis of purified flagellin protein from strains of various toxin serotypes. Detailed analyses of flagellin from two strains of C. botulinum demonstrated that the protein is modified by a novel glycan moiety of mass 417...
Chapter
Introduction Botulism Incidence of type E in fishery products Botulism incidents caused by fishery products Control of in fishery products Conclusion
Article
Full-text available
Clostridium botulinum produces the potent botulinum neurotoxin, the causative agent of botulism. Based on distinctive physiological traits, strains of C. botulinum can be divided into four groups: however, only groups I and II are associated with human illness. Alignment of the flaA gene sequences from 40 group I and 40 group II strains identified...
Conference Paper
The frequent drifting of influenza virus and uncertainty of the genetic identity of potential pandemic strains make vaccine development a daunting challenge. Clearly, there is a need to investigate therapeutic and preventive anti-influenza agents. In general, two families of approved anti-influenza drugs exist: M2 ion channel blockers and neuramini...
Article
Purpose of the review: Fresh fruits and vegetables, including fresh-cut produce, are increasingly associated with outbreaks of foodborne illness. Current pre-market sanitation treatments rely on the application of a chemical sanitiser, primarily chlorine, during washing usually at temperatures <10° C. Unfortunately, such measures are marginally eff...
Article
Full-text available
Strains of Clostridium botulinum are traditionally identified by botulinum neurotoxin type; however, identification of an additional target for typing would improve differentiation. Isolation of flagellar filaments and analysis by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) showed that C. botulinum produced multiple flagell...
Article
Full-text available
Francisella tularensis is a gram-negative facultative intracellular pathogen and the causative agent of tularemia. Little is known about the immunopathogenesis of oral infection with this pathogen. Here, for the first time, we examined the susceptibility of mice to intragastric inoculation with virulent type A F. tularensis and characterized the co...
Article
A method was developed for whole-organism fingerprinting of Clostridium botulinum isolates by focal plane array Fourier transform infrared (FPA-FTIR) spectroscopy. A database of 150,000 infrared spectra of 44 strains of C. botulinum was acquired using a FPA-FTIR imaging spectrometer equipped with a 16 x 16 array detector to evaluate the ability of...
Article
Full-text available
Since 1999, large-scale mortalities of fish-eating birds have been observed on the Great Lakes, and more specifically on Lake Erie. Type E botulism has been established as the primary cause of death. The mechanism of type E botulism exposure in fish-eating birds is unclear. Given that these birds are thought to eat live fish exclusively, it seems l...
Article
Full-text available
In a 4-mo study (June 2004-September 2004), round gobies (Neogobius melanostomas) were dosed orally every 72 hr for up to 21 days with Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin type E (BoNT/E) at one of four doses: 0, 50, 250, and 500 mouse lethal doses (MLD). Fish were observed for changes in pigmentation and behavior for the duration of the experiment. Mo...