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special substances (antibodies) formed in the organism of animals or man upon entry into it of toxins—that is, poisons of bacterial or animal origin. Every antitoxin has a strictly specific effect; it renders harmless (neutralizes) only that toxin under the influence of which it was formed (for example, only the toxin secreted by the causative agent of diphtheria is neutralized by diphtheria antitoxin), and it has no neutralizing effect on other toxins. Antitoxins are gamma globulins that are capable of interacting specifically with toxins.

Antitoxins are used in medical practice in the form of antitoxic sera (antidiphtheria, antitetanus, antidysentery, antigangrene, antibotulinum, antiscarlatina, antivenom, and so on), which are obtained by subcutaneous injection of a horse (or other animal) with toxins or anatoxins; antitoxin is thereupon formed in the blood serum of the horse. Blood serum containing antitoxin is widely used in prophylaxis and treatment of diphtheria, tetanus, botulism, and other diseases, and it is also used for treatment of persons bitten by poisonous snakes. The therapeutic and prophylactic properties of immune sera are determined by their strength, which is measured in conventional antitoxic units (AU). Thus, 1 AU of diphtheria antitoxic serum is considered to be that quantity of the serum which neutralizes 100 minimum lethal doses of diphtheria toxin when injected into a guinea pig weighing 200–250 g.

Methods of purifying and concentrating antitoxic sera have been elaborated which permit production of preparations that have high AU content and are free of inert substances.


Zil’ber, L. A. Osnovy immunologii. Moscow, 1958.
Beilinson, A. V. “Syvorotki.” In Mnogotomnoe rukovodstvo pomikrobiologii, klinike i epidemiologii infektsionnykh boleznei, vol. 3. Moscow, 1964. Page 569.


References in periodicals archive ?
The company decided to find an antitoxin, which doesn't attack the bacteria directly but does help the body rid itself of the poison that anthrax produces.
An antitoxin would make a welcome addition to the bare arsenal currently available to physicians faced with Buruli ulcer.
BARDA is seeking additional proposals for vaccines, antitoxins, and therapeutics that potentially protect against anthrax infection.
Joseph Kinyoun, the founder of the Hygienic Laboratory--predecessor of the National Institutes of Health--learned the procedure for preparing diphtheria antitoxin at the Pasteur Institute in Paris.
perferingens antitoxin type A, B, C, D and E which was occurred in Animal Health Institute.
One of these antitoxins is currently being used to develop a new drug called Brevenal that will be used to treat cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the effects of Florida red tide exposure and even Ciguatera fish poisoning.
Outbreak of type A botulism and development of a botulism surveillance and antitoxin release system in Argentina.
The toxin binding inhibition test as a reliable in vitro alternative to the toxin neutralization test in mice for the estimation of tetanus antitoxin in human sera.
No protection was conferred on mice by antitoxins to botulinum toxins A, B, or E.
The hypothesis was that if grass sickness was caused by intoxication with bacillus botulinus, then the blood in the serum of chronic cases should contain traces of antitoxin," explains Bruce McGorum of the University of Edinburgh.
1) At the same time, various anthrax antitoxins were sent to Israel, a practice that continued into the Clinton/Gore administration.
In Berlin, Koch's assistants Emil Behring and Shibasaburo Kitasato had discovered the principle of passive immunity and antitoxins.