Submitted to: Intech
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/4/2016
Publication Date: 4/13/2016
Citation: Cheng, L.W., Land, K.M., Tam, C.C., Brandon, D.L., Stanker, L.H. 2016. Technologies for detecting botulinum neurotoxins in biological and environmental matrices. Intech. doi: 10.5772/63064 Interpretive Summary: Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are some of the most deadly bacterial toxins and is the cause of botulism. These toxins have the potential to be used as food contamination bio-threats and are classified as Select Agents. This book chapter will present the latest BoNTs detection methods currently in use for detection of toxins in biological and environmental samples.
Technical Abstract: Biomonitoring of food and environmental matrices is critical for the rapid and sensitive diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases caused by toxins. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has noted that toxins from bacteria, fungi, algae, and plants present an ongoing public health threat, especially since some of these toxins could compromise security of the food supply. Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), produced by Clostridium spp., are among those bacterial toxins that pose life-threatening danger to humans. BoNTs inhibit the release of acetylcholine at peripheral cholinergic nerve terminals, causing flaccid paralysis. BoNTs are grouped in 7 serotypes and many subtypes within these groups. Rapid and accurate identification of these toxins in contaminated food as well as environmental matrices can help direct treatment. Here, we discuss current methods to detect C. botulinum neurotoxins. In particular, we focus on how these technologies have been applied to identifying toxins in a variety of food and environmental matrices. We also discuss the emergence of new serotypes and subtypes of BoNTs, the increasing number of cases of botulism in wildlife, and how environmental changes impact food safety for humans and present new challenges for detection technology.