Promise of better treatment for botulism

Researchers have discovered a new way to block the action of botulinum toxin, which may pave the way for more effective treatments of botulism.

The research team found a novel way of blocking the update of the toxin using a new class of drug called dynamin inhibitors.

“We have designed and tested a new molecule called Dyngo-4a™ which prevents botulinum toxin from entering nerve cells,” explained the lead researcher. “Dyngo-4a™ works by blocking the action of a protein called dynamin which plays a key role in controlling how most molecules can enter nerve cells.”

Botulism is a rare but potentially fatal condition that involves progressive weakness.

It is caused by botulinum toxin, which is made by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium found naturally in soil, sediments, raw foods (including seafood) and honey.

As terrorists have also attempted to use botulinum toxin as a bioweapon, development of more effective treatments to counter this type of health threat is a high priority for countries such as the United States.

Read more at The University of Queensland