What is botulinum toxin (BoNT)?

Updated: Jul 13, 2018
  • Author: Divakara Kedlaya, MBBS; Chief Editor: Elizabeth A Moberg-Wolff, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Botulinum toxin (abbreviated either as BTX or BoNT) is produced by Clostridium botulinum, a gram-positive anaerobic bacterium. [1] The clinical syndrome of botulism can occur following ingestion of contaminated food, from colonization of the infant gastrointestinal tract, or from a wound infection.

BoNT is broken into 7 neurotoxins (labeled as types A, B, C [C1, C2], D, E, F, and G), which are antigenically and serologically distinct but structurally similar. Human botulism is caused mainly by types A, B, E, and (rarely) F. Types C and D cause toxicity only in animals.


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