HIV & AIDS

Nanoparticles loaded with bee venom kill HIV

(Medical Xpress)—Nanoparticles carrying a toxin found in bee venom can destroy human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) while leaving surrounding cells unharmed, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Recurrent infections of salmonella can lead to colitis

An international research group, led by Jamey Marth, Ph.D., a professor at Sanford Burnham Prebys, has shown that the Neuraminidase 3 (Neu3) enzyme is responsible for the onset and progression of colitis—a chronic digestive ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Repurposed heart and flu drugs may help body fight sepsis

Despite continued improvements in antibiotics and hospital intensive care, staph sepsis—a bloodstream infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus bacteria—still causes severe illness or death in 20 to 30 percent of patients ...

Medical research

Inflamed environment is Clostridioides difficile paradise

A new study from North Carolina State University shows that the inflammation caused by Clostridioides difficile (C. diff) infection gives the pathogen a two-fold advantage: by both creating an inhospitable environment for ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Discovering what makes Shiga toxin so damaging

E. coli food poisoning is one of the worst food poisonings, causing bloody diarrhea and kidney damage. But all the carnage might be just an unintended side effect, researchers from UConn Health report in the 27 November issue ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Supercharged 'clones' spark scarlet fever's re-emergence

A University of Queensland-led team of international researchers says supercharged "clones" of the bacteria Streptococcus pyogenes are to blame for the resurgence of the disease, which has caused high death rates for centuries.

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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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