Scientists have now a new type of Botox, they discovered it from animal gut bacteria. A new source of neurotoxin is now be discovered by scientists. The neurotoxin is an extensive class of exogenous chemical neurological insults, it can affect function in mature and developing nervous tissue. It is known for its paradoxical ability which can remove wrinkles from the skin but it can cause an illness linked to food poising from a strain of animal gut bacteria. The scientists have found that it can expand its therapeutic applications potentially.

Botox, Animal Gut Bacteria, Enterococcus faecium,  Clostridium botulinum toxin

Clostridium botulinum toxin which can cause a severe flaccid paralytic disease in human and other animals, had the ability to jump into gram-positive bacteria called Enterococcus faecium, through plasmids in the bacteria, a tiny, double-stranded circular DNA molecule that is distinct from a cell’s chromosomal DNA, according to the new study.

Enterococci are Gram-positive cocci that can be commensal in the gastrointestinal tract of humans and animals it generally causes no harm, but it may also be pathogenic, causing disease like — neonatal meningitis or endocarditis. Their ruggedness has made one of the major cause of several drug-resistant infections that especially attacks in setting such as hospitals where the use of antibiotics disrupts the natural balance of microbes in intestines.

A bioinformatics professor at the University of Waterloo, Andrew Doxey said, “This is the first time that an active botulinum toxin has been identified outside of Clostridium botulinum and its relatives, which are often found in soil and untreated water.”

Doxey went on to say, “Its discovery has implications in several fields, from monitoring the emergence of new pathogens to the development of new protein therapeutics — it’s a game changer.”

Botulinum toxin type A called Botox (OnabotulinumtoxinA) which is made from the bacteria that causes botulism, has been used for treating cervical dystonia, severe underarm sweating (hyperhidrosis), muscle spasms in the arms and hands, overactive bladder and incontinence,  over the past 20 years. In addition, Botox has also been used for treating certain eye muscle conditions caused by nerve disorders including spasm of the eyelids or uncontrolled blinking, and in a condition in which eyes do not point in the same direction.

The study published in the journal Cell Host and Microbe, the researchers sequenced the genome of the Enterococcus faecium bacteria drawn from cow faeces, the researchers have also discovered the gene for botulinum toxin in the bacterial strain.

The study noted that the neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum and related species — botulinum toxin was likely to transferred from the Gram-positive bacteria Clostridium botulinum in the environment into the Enterococcus faecium bacteria in a gut of the cow, the study has shown that the botulinum toxin can be transferred between species that are very different.

A Biology doctoral student at the varsity, Michael Mansfield said, “The botulinum toxin is a powerful and versatile protein therapeutic.”

Mansfield added, “By finding more versions of the toxin in nature, we can potentially expand and optimise its therapeutic applications even further.”



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