The April 25, 2012 issue of the Journal of the American Medical
Association (JAMA. 2012;307(16): 1683) reports:
"The number of US
deaths associated with gastroenteritis increased from 7,000 in 1999 to more
than 17,000 in 2007, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC). The primary driver of this trend was a 5-fold increase in
gastroenteritis deaths associated with Clostridium difficile infections,
according to the data from the National Center for Health Statistics,
presented in March at the International Conference on Emerging Infectious
JAMA and CDC blame the deaths on a bacterium found in
cow's milk called clostridium.
Is clostridium killed by
Not on your life (death)!
In the third edition of
Modern Dairy Products, author Lincoln Lampert writes:
"A drop of sour
milk may contain more than 50 million bacteria...certain bacteria,
especially organisms belonging to the genera bacillus and clostridium, have
the ability to transform themselves into small bodies called spores. The
word spore comes from the Greek word for seed. The spore can often withstand
drying, the temperature of boiling water (pasteurization), and the action of
some germicides. When suitable conditions return, the spore resumes its
vegetative form and the bacterium again returns to the usual activities of
its normal life cycle."
Other than death by gastroenteritis, how do
clostridium infections affect cows and humans?
pain in the diaphragm and joints of cows. This same bacterium causes the
same aches and pains for humans. Complain of muscle pain often enough and
your physician might refer you his brother-in-law, Sigmund. The pain may not
be in your head. It's real, and the etiology can be traced to contaminated
milk and cheese coming from body fluids of diseased animals which humans
find so mouth-wateringly appealing.