In DepthBiomedicine

Decoy toxin harnessed to fight botulism

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  08 Jan 2021:
Vol. 371, Issue 6525, pp. 113-114
DOI: 10.1126/science.371.6525.113

You are currently viewing the summary.

View Full Text

Log in to view the full text

Log in through your institution

Log in through your institution

Summary

A new strategy to fight the world's most potent poison has passed its first tests in animals. Two research teams have developed neutered forms of botulinum toxin that chase their deadly counterpart into nerves and disarm it. Currently available treatment, a cocktail of antibodies, can inactivate the toxin in blood, but can't enter nerves. By the time symptoms emerge, some toxin is out of reach. The two teams have hitched neutralizing antibodies to a modified form of the toxin itself, which is adept at slipping into nerve cells. The experimental treatment, if it works in people, would be the first to reverse the paralyzing effects of the toxin inside cells and might spare patients long periods on a ventilator.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science