Facebook Pixel

Scientists Closer to Developing Botulinum Toxin Antidote

Rate This

Scientists Closer to Developing Botulinum Toxin Antidote

U.S. scientists say they've made a breakthrough in efforts to develop an effective antidote for botulinum toxin, which is a common cause of food poisoning and a potentially devastating biological weapon. One gram of the poison can kill hundreds of thousands of people, according to defense experts, BBC News reported.

The Clostridium botulinum bacterium produces seven different neurotoxins that can block the chemicals nerve cells use to communicate with each other and with muscles. This can paralyze the breathing muscles and cause suffocation.

The researchers developed a protein that blocks the effects of the most powerful of these toxins by fooling it into not attacking cells in the body, BBC News reported. It will take at least four to five years before this finding results in an approved drug, said the researchers at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York and the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases.

The findings are published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Currently, there are vaccines for botulinum toxin designed to be given before an attack. This research could produce as drug that would work after exposure.

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

Stomach Flu

Get Email Updates

Stomach Flu Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!