Special Focus Review
Botulinum Neurotoxin Vaccines: Past history and recent developments
Volume 5, Issue 12
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Pages 794 - 805
Authors: Janice M. Rusnak and Leonard A. Smith View affiliations
Botulinum toxin may cause a neuroparalytic illness that may result in respiratory failure and require prolonged mechanical ventilation. As medical resources needed for supportive care of botulism in a bioterrorist event may quickly overwhelm the local healthcare systems, biodefense research efforts have been directed towards the development of a vaccine to prevent botulism. While human botulism has been caused only by toxin serotypes A, B, and E (rarely serotype F), all seven known immunologically distinct toxin serotypes (A - G) may potentially cause intoxication in humans from a bioterrorist event. A pentavalent (ABCDE) botulinum toxoid (PBT) has been administered as an investigation new drug (IND) to at-risk individuals for nearly 50 years. Due to declining immunogenicity of the PBT, research efforts have been directed at development of both improved (less local reactogenicity) botulinum toxoids and recombinant vaccines as potential vaccine candidates to replace the PBT.
Received: January 12, 2009; Accepted: July 6, 2009