Overview Of Bacterial Toxins with a Nonreductionist Approach to the Mode of Action of Botulinal Neurotoxin

  • Carl Lamanna


The word toxin was first used in 1886 by E. Ray Lankester in Science to name poisons for animals produced by pathogenic bacteria. Since the word was first applied to substances which later proved to be proteins, historical precedence would demand its restriction to bacterial proteins responsible for animal pathology. An implied characteristic of these proteins is that their poisonous character can be neutralized by specific antitoxins. While toxin is used in this sense, it more commonly designates any poison for plant or animal produced by a living organism while the generic term for any harmful substance of biological or nonbiological origin is poison. Poison the older term was first used in 1579. It is meaningful to record the first use of words concerning poisonous actions as a measure of the slow progress of knowledge of toxins until the end of the 19th century: toxicology, 1799; toxication, 1821; toxicosis, 1857; toxicity, 1881; toxicant, 1882. These dates are recorded in the Oxford Universal Dictionary on Historical Principles.


Botulinal Toxin Cholera Toxin Alimentary Tract Diphtheria Toxin Bacterial Toxin 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carl Lamanna
    • 1
  1. 1.N. ArlingtonUSA

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