Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum and related species
Botulinum toxin (BTX) is a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum and related species. It prevents the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from axon endings at the neuromuscular junction and thus causes flaccid paralysis. Infection with the bacterium causes the disease botulism. The toxin is also used commercially in medicine, cosmetics and research.
Botulinum is the most acutely lethal toxin known, with an estimated human median lethal dose (LD50) of 1.3–2.1 ng/kg intravenously or intramuscularly and 10–13 ng/kg when inhaled.
There are eight types of botulinum toxin, named type A–H. Type A and B are capable of causing disease in humans, and are also used commercially and medically. Types C–G are less common; types E and F can cause disease in humans, while the other types cause disease in other animals. Type H is considered the deadliest substance in the world – an injection of only 2-billionths of a gram can cause death to an adult. Botulinum toxin types A and B are used in medicine to treat various muscle spasms and diseases characterized by overactive muscle. The commercial form is marketed under the brand name Botox, among others.