Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Why isn't there a vaccine for staph?

Staph bacteria, the leading cause of potentially dangerous skin infections, are most feared for the drug-resistant strains that have become a serious threat to public health. Attempts to develop a vaccine against methicillin-resistant ...

Medical research

Toxin responsible for Legionella growth identified

A team of scientists led by EMBL group leader Sagar Bhogaraju and Ivan Dikic of Goethe University, Frankfurt, discovered that the toxin SidJ in Legionella bacteria enforces a unique modification on human proteins and helps ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

New study uncovers weakness in C. diff toxin

A new study, led by researchers from the University of California, Irvine (UCI), uncovers the long-sought-after, three-dimensional structure of a toxin primarily responsible for devastating Clostridium difficile infection ...

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Toxin

A toxin (Greek: τοξικόν, toxikon) is a poisonous substance produced by living cells or organisms. (Although technically man is a living organism, man-made substances created by artificial processes usually aren't considered toxins by this definition.)

For a toxic substance not produced by living organisms, "toxicant" is the more appropriate term, and "toxics" is an acceptable plural.

Toxins can be small molecules, peptides, or proteins that are capable of causing disease on contact with or absorption by body tissues interacting with biological macromolecules such as enzymes or cellular receptors. Toxins vary greatly in their severity, ranging from usually minor and acute (as in a bee sting) to almost immediately deadly (as in botulinum toxin).

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