Sample Paper on Bacterial and Fungal Toxins

Bacterial and Fungal Toxins

Bacterial and fungal toxins are formed by microorganisms. Bacteria and fungi participate in harmless biological processes in the body but also interfere with the normal functioning of the body by causing diseases. They produce toxins which are injurious to the body and may cause different diseases. “Toxins are those substances mostly in form of chemicals that are formed by living organisms and are injurious to body tissues either directly or indirectly” (Richards & Bourgeois, 2014).  Bacteria produce toxins that cause infectious diseases that are transmitted from organism to organism whereas fungi produce toxins that cause diseases both in plants and animals both directly and indirectly through the secretion of toxins. This paper compares and contrasts bacterial and fungal toxins while providing the symptoms and examples of each.

Toxins produced by both bacteria and fungi are injurious to body tissues and organs. They both posses an intrinsic surface activity, they both penetrate liposome’s and monolayer’s. They both form and bind functional lesions to the membranes in different events.

Bacterial toxins

Bacterial toxins are molecular substances that when produced during natural or experimental infection of the host or introduced parentally, orally or by any other root in the organism result in the impairment of the physiological functions or in overt damage to tissues (Holst, 2000). They are either endotoxin which is released on bacterial death with a lipid portion responsible for toxicity or exotoxins which are formed by living cells and usually bind to specific cells which are receptors. The following are the examples, symptoms and causes of bacterial toxins.

Corynebacterium diphtheria, contain, substances that have bacteriophonage that causes diphtheria, they inhibit the normal synthesis of protein thus causing cell death.

Colostridiumtetani, they block and interfere with the normal functioning of body tissues around the spinal cord and result in tetanus.  Symptoms of tetanus include; stiffness of muscles especially those around the neck, irritability, lockjaw difficulty in swallowing.

Clostridium perfringens, they cause hyper secretion of water and electrolytes thus causing diarrhea.

Clostridium botulinum, blocks and interferes with the release of a substance in synapses called acetylcholine   thus causing botulism. The symptoms of the botulism include; dry mouth, trouble in breathing, blurred vision, vomiting, paralysis, abdominal cramps and difficulties in swallowing.

Vibrio cholera, cause hypersycretion of water and electrolytes thus causing diarrhea .Symptoms include; watery diarrhea, leg cramps, loss of body fluids, shock dehydration,

 Hypoglycemia, It enhances glycol sis in many cell types and can lead to hypoglycemia. Symptoms include chilling, profuse sweating, irritability, impatience, dizziness, hunger, sightedness and confusion.

Streptococcus pyogenes, result in fever which develops into a shock syndrome. The symptoms include; red rashes, flushed face, discoloration of the tongue.

Fungal toxins

Fungal toxins are formed by fungi and they are usually referred to as moulds. Toxins which are formed by fungi are universally referred t as mycotoxins. Mycotoxicoses,which  frequently occur when mycotoxins penetrate the body through consumption of contaminated food. Mycotoxins are products of moulds which generally contaminate food and cause severe injuries to body tissues (Richards & Bourgeois, 2014). Toxins produced by fungi include;

Aflatoxins, they are produced by Aspergillus, commonly found in peanuts and corn. Clinical symptoms of aflotoxins include; depression, reduced milk production, subnormal body temperature, bruising, mild   anemia, reduced feed efficiency.

Fusarium moniliforme, they form fumonisins which severely affects pigs. Symptoms include; weakness, weight loss, aimless wandering, facial paralysis, and depression

Egort toxicosis, commonly found in cereals and grains, The symptoms include; lameness, swelling of feet, reduced milk production, heat intolerance in cattle’s, sloughing of hooves and tails.



Holst, O. (2000). Bacterial toxins: Methods and protocols. Totowa, N.J: Humana Press.

Richards, S. & Bourgeois, M.  (2014). Principles and practice of toxicology in public health (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett.