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Scientists reveal structure of new botulism nerve toxin subtype
Date:12/22/2008

ubtype A is currently used to inhibit neurotransmitter release and control bladder muscles. But it can take days or a week for the drug to be effective. A faster-acting neurotoxin might improve the response.

Additionally, patients sometimes develop resistance to botulinum treatments, developing antibodies that break down the toxin. So having an additional subtype for therapeutic use could be of benefit in situations where treatments must be repeated.

Finally, considering the threat of botulinum neurotoxin being used as a bioterror weapon, Swaminathan said, "The finding of a significant variation in the structural arrangement of subtype E also makes it clear that we must study the structures of the four remaining subtypes to gain a better understanding of their individual characteristics so that appropriate countermeasures can be developed for all seven forms."


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Contact: Karen McNulty Walsh
kmcnulty@bnl.gov
631-344-8350
DOE/Brookhaven National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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