2013-01-01Zeitschriftenartikel DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-33570-9_11
Complexity of Botulinum Neurotoxins: Challenges for Detection Technology
The detection of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNT) is extremely challenging due to their high toxicity and the multiple BoNT variants. To date, seven serotypes with more than 30 subtypes have been described, and even more subtypes are expected to be discovered. The fact that the BoNT molecules are released as large complexes of different size and composition adds further complexity to the issue. Currently, in the diagnostics of botulism, the mouse bioassay (MBA) is still considered as gold standard for the detection of BoNT in complex sample materials. Over the years, different functional, immunological, and spectrometric assays or combinations thereof have been developed, supplemented by DNA-based assays for the detection of the organism. In this review, advantages and limitations of the current technologies will be discussed, highlighting some of the intricacies of real sample analysis.
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