Between 1817 and 1822, the German physician and poet Justinus Kerner described botulinum toxin, using the terms "sausage poison" and or "fatty poison, as this bacterium often caused poisoning by growing in improperly handled or prepared meat products. It was Kerner who first conceived a possible therapeutic use of botulinium toxin. In 1870, Müller coined the name botulism, from Latin botulus = "sausage". In 1897, Emile van Ermengem identified the bacterium Clostridium botulinum to be the producer of botulinum toxin. in 1928 Snipe and Hermann Sommer for the first time purified the toxin. In 1949, Burgen's group discovered that botulinium toxin blocks neuromuscular transmission. In the late 1960s Allan Scott and Edward Schantz were the first to work on a standardized botulinum toxin preparation for therapeutic purposes.
Clostridium botulinum is a Gram-positive, rod shaped bacterium that produces the neurotoxin botulin, which causes the flaccid muscular paralysis seen in botulism. It is also the main paralytic agent in botox. It is an anaerobic spore-former, which produces oval, subterminal endospores and is commonly found in soil. Clostridium. botulinum is a rod-shaped microorganism. It is an obligate anaerobe, meaning that oxygen is poisonous to the cells. However, they tolerate very small traces of oxygen due to an enzyme called superoxide dismutase (SOD) which is an important antioxidant defense in nearly all cells exposed to oxygen. Under unfavorable circumstances they are able to form endospores that allow them to survive in a dormant state until exposed to conditions that can support their growth.
CAS number 93384-43-1
ATC code M03AX01
Mol. mass 149.320 kDa