Can botulinum toxin be a used as a drug? How and Why?

Sarah, a twenty-one-year-old student at the University of Maryland – College Park had spent Thanksgiving day with relatives at her grandparent’s farm. During her drive back to campus on Friday morning her vision became blurry, and she was forced to pull over to the side of the road. As she sat in her car, her vision worsened. She opened the car hood in hope of attracting aid and tried to relax. In a short time, a Maryland State Trooper pulled over and approached Sarah. By this time, Sarah was having trouble swallowing and speaking clearly. The officer helped Sarah to his car and rushed her to the emergency room at a nearby hospital.

In the ER, Sarah was able to describe her symptoms to a physician. The physician made note of what Sarah had eaten during the last 24 hours and was especially interested in the fact that Sarah’s grandmother canned all of her own vegetables. The physician observed that Sarah’s breathing was becoming labored. She ordered Sarah’s blood sampled, her stomach pumped, and a mechanical respirator prepared for use. Fearing that Sarah suffered from a case of botulism, she asked that Sarah’s grandparents be contacted and samples of the Thanksgiving meal retained, if possible, and sent to a local clinic for analysis.

Describe the causative microbial agent of botulism?

Why was the doctor interested in Grandma’s canned veggies?

What is the mechanism of action of botulinum toxin?

What is the treatment for botulism?

Can botulinum toxin be a used as a drug? How and Why?

Can botulinum toxin be a used as a drug? How and Why?

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