The Botulinum Toxin
A closer look into the world's most lethal poison
Botulinum toxin (BoNT) or ‘botox’, is a neurotoxin that interferes with neural transmission. Produced by bacterium in the genus Clostridium, the botulinum toxin, particularly BoNT type A, is often referred to as the “miracle poison” due to its wide variety of applications. Although BoNT is primarily known for its use in cosmetic aid, this toxin has been employed in unlikely clinical areas of research including behaviour, urology, and dystonia. Nevertheless, BoNT still remains poisonous to humans in large doses in a condition referred to as botulism that induces paralysis and possible lethality unless treated with antitoxins. Analysis of BoNTs production, function and biochemical properties allow researchers to explore a variety of neuroscientific exploitations.