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Molecular medicines for neutralization of Clostridium botulinum neurotoxin

Kausar Malik, Mujahid Hussain, Rida Sadaqat, Hassan Ahmad, Muhammad Hamza Basit Shafiq Azam, Hasnain Qamar, Arshia Nazir, Haleema Sadia, Asma Arshad

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Int. J. Biosci.14( 6), 78-90, June 2019

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12692/ijb/14.6.78-90


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Botulism is characterized by symmetrical, descending, flaccid paralysis of motor and autonomic nerves, caused by the spore-forming, obligate anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum. Strains of Clostridium botulinum are known to produce the most poisonous neurotoxins in mankind. Clostridium botulinum produces seven genetically distinct neurotoxins known as BoNT/A, BoNT/B, BoNT/C, BoNT/D, BoNT/E, BoNT/F and BoNT/G.All the serotypes share same structure and molecular weight, but differ in their cellular substrate and target cleavage site. Botulinum toxins work by blocking the release of acetylcholine in four stages, binding, internalization, translocation and inhibition. The food borne botulism, wound botulism, infant botulism and adult botulism are main clinical features. Different molecular techniques like Mouse lethality assay, ELISA, immuno-PCR, chemiluminescent   slot   blot immunoassay, electrochemiluminenscence, radioimmunoassay, lateral flow immunoassays and End peptidase assay are mostly used to detect the BoNTs. Antitoxins such as BabyBIG, Equine, Mabs and HBAT are used for treatment of BoNTs intravenously or intra- muscularly. At molecular level Peptide Based Inhibitor, Phage display technology and Aptamers are used. A proper delivery system is required to deliver inhibitors to target nerves to reverse the clinical effects. Heavy chain of BoNT has been shown to be the natural, safe and potential delivery system to deliver inhibitory molecules in the affected nerves.


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