Investigations on farms where botulism has occurred in cows showed that proteolytic Clostridium botulinum type B was present in newly made grass silages. Experiments were undertaken to study growth and toxin production of C. botulinum in grass. Of the strains tested only proteolytic strains of C. botulinum types A and B were able to produce toxin with grass as a substrate. Proteolytic strains of type B produced both medium (12S) and large (16S) toxin forms. The minimal water activity (aw) for toxin production at pH 6.5 and 5.8 was 0.94. At pH 5.3, toxin was produced at an aw of 0.985. These results indicate that proteolytic strains of C. botulinum (if present) may multiply and produce toxin in wilted grass silages
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