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Botulinum Neurotoxins.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  23435262     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Few species of the anaerobic bacteria of the genus Clostridium produce the botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT), which cause a disease of vertebrates known as botulism (Johnson and Montecucco, 2008). The flaccid paralysis and all the other symptoms of botulism are due to the BoNT induced inhibition of skeletal and autonomic peripheral cholinergic nerve terminals. Owing to the nature of these symptoms, botulism was described only at the begin of the nineteenth century (Erbguth, 2004). BoNT producing Clostridia spp. are widespread, mainly in the form of spores very resistant to atmosferic agents; under anaerobiosis and in the presence of water they can germinate with production of a single 150 kDa polypeptide chain neurotoxin which is released from the cytosol following bacterial autolysis. Usually, botulism follows the ingestion of spore-contaminated food preserved under anaerobiosis, conditions that favour the production of BoNT, which accumulates in the form of complexes with associated nontoxic proteins that help the BoNT to pass unaltered through the stomach (Gu et al., 2012). The BoNT complex rapidly dissociates in the intestine and is adsorbed across the intestinal barrier to reach the general fluid circulations (Johnson and Montecucco, 2008). A particular case of botulism is "infant botulism" which follows the ingestion of spores that germinate in the intestine where Clostridia can proliferate because of the limited competition exerted by the intestinal flora of infants, at variance from the very effective one exerted by the adult gut microbial community (Arnon et al., 1981). In this case, BoNT is continuously produced and adsorbed and this disease is to be considered a toxo-infection rather than an intoxication as food-borne botulism is. Nowadays, botulism is mainly a disease of animals in farms and in the wilderness where hundreds of thousand of individuals may be involved in outbreaks of botulism among birds or fish (Wobeser, 1997). But episodes of botulism originated by the injection of large doses of BoNT made illegally by non-medical personnel for "cosmetic purposes" cannot be forgotten (Chertow et al., 2006).
O Rossetto; A Megighian; M Scorzeto; C Montecucco
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2013-2-19
Journal Detail:
Title:  Toxicon : official journal of the International Society on Toxinology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1879-3150     ISO Abbreviation:  Toxicon     Publication Date:  2013 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2013-2-25     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  1307333     Medline TA:  Toxicon     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Department of Biomedical Sciences and National Research Council Institute of Neuroscience, University of Padova, Italy, Via G. Colombo 3, 35121 Padova, Italy.
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