Botulism is a rare but serious condition caused by toxins from bacteria called Clostridium botulinum (Botulism, 2012). Botulinum neurotoxins or, as abbreviated BoNTs, are some of the most extreme and dangerous substances that are known to the human population. There are 3 forms of botulism which include infant botulism, food borne botulism and wound botulism (Botulism, 2012). This specific genus of Clostridium causes “flaccid muscle paralysis by blocking acetylcholine release at nerve muscle junctions through a specific and exclusive endopeptidase activity against SNARE proteins of presynaptic exocytosis machinery” (Kukreja & Singh, 2005). BoNTs are composed of seven different serotypes that range from A-G. Each of these serotypes are produced by different strains of the same bacteria, Clostridium.
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Botulinum toxin is a protein product of the gram-negative anaerobic bacterium, Clostridium botulinum, it also contains the same toxin found in food poisoning. After purification, botulinum toxin became the first bacterial toxin to be used in medical treatments. (5 Vangelova) After being injected into the body, the toxin attaches itself to nerve endings at the point where the nerves join muscles. The chemical acetylcholine is released which then signals the muscles to contract resulting in weakness and paralysis. Extra contractions are blocked by the injections into the muscle but leave enough strength for normal use.
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