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protein toxintoxin,
poison produced by living organisms. Toxins are classified as either exotoxins or endotoxins. Exotoxins are a diverse group of soluble proteins released into the surrounding tissue by living bacterial cells. Exotoxins have specific reaction sites in the host; e.g.
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 treated by heat or chemicals so that its poisonous property is destroyed but its capacity to stimulate the formation of toxin antibodiesantibody,
protein produced by the immune system (see immunity) in response to the presence in the body of antigens: foreign proteins or polysaccharides such as bacteria, bacterial toxins, viruses, or other cells or proteins.
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, or antitoxinsantitoxin,
any of a group of antibodies formed in the body as a response to the introduction of poisonous products, or toxins. By introducing small amounts of a specific toxin into the healthy body, it is possible to stimulate the production of antitoxin so that the body's
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, remains. Because toxoids can be given in large quantities with no risk of tissue damage, they have superseded the highly poisonous toxins as immunizing agents against such diseases as diphtheria and tetanus.



(also anatoxin), a harmless derivative of a toxin that retains its antigenic and immunogenic properties. It is obtained by rendering the toxin harmless with formalin at 37–40°C. A toxoid suitable for immunizing human beings was first obtained in 1923 by the French immunologist G. Ramon. Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids are used as prophylactic measures against these infections. Staphylococcal, botulin, and dysentery toxoids, toxoids produced by the causative agents of gas gangrene and made from the poisons of some poisonous snakes, and other toxoids have been produced and are used for specific prophylaxis and treatment. Toxoids are also used for immunizing horses in order to obtain medicinal antitoxic serums (antitetanus and antidiphtheria).



Detoxified toxin, but with antigenic properties intact; toxoids of tetanus and diphtheria are used for immunization.
References in periodicals archive ?
Cyanobacteria produce a variety of toxins that are usually defined by their chemical structure and fall into three groups: cyclic peptides (the hepatotoxic microcystins and nodularins), alkaloids (the neurotoxic saxitoxins and anatoxins, and the protein-synthesis-inhibiting cylindrospermopsin), and lipopolysaccharides.
5 percent because higher levels can lead to the growth of fungi that produce anatoxins, which cause illness in animals and humans.
Anatoxins are known to overstimulate muscles, and if respiratory muscles are affected, the animal may suffer convulsions and die of suffocation.