clostridium botulinum spore whole TEMC. botulinum and C. perfringens are important foodborne pathogens. Other members of this genus are not overtly pathogenic, but may cause food spoilage (e.g. C. sporogenes, C. pasteurianum, C. tyrobutyricum). C. difficile is an important case of GI-Tract infection.

At IFR we have unique containment facilities to work all strains of Clostridium including C. botulinum.

For Industry

We carry out a substantial translational research programme often in collaboration with industry/regulators.

The major focus of our strategic applied work is the control of C. botulinum in food chain and the safe development of new foods, for example:

  • Detection and enumeration of C. botulinum and its neurotoxins in raw materials and foods
  • Challenge tests of new/modified foods to establish safe shelf-life
  • Testing of new preservatives/combinations of preservatives against C. botulinum
  • Development of process risk models (QMRA) and predictive models for C. botulinum
  • Safety of waste materials with respect to C. botulinum

Our work on C. perfringens and C. difficile include:

If you are interested in utilising our expertise or learning more about our work with industry then please contact us at

Academic Links

Our academic research is concerned with furthering understanding of C. botulinum biology by elucidating underlying (molecular) mechanisms affecting stress adaptation and food chain transmission (e.g. strain variability and evolution, germination and lag-time, neurotoxin regulation). Our work includes development of novel strategies including phage therapy, lantibiotics endolysins as anti-infectives to prevent clostridial infections.

Examples of recent academic outputs can be found on our Research Leaders webpages.

Lead scientistss involved: