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Antitoxin Meaning

Antitoxin meaning can be defined as an antibody that is formed in the body by the introduction of a bacterial toxin, or poison and it is capable of neutralizing the toxin. People who get recovered from bacterial illnesses often develop particular antitoxins that confer immunity against recurrence.

About Antitoxin

Although they are very effective in neutralizing toxins, and can also kill bacteria, including other microorganisms. Antitoxins are made within the organisms and may be injected into other organisms, including humans, to treat infectious diseases. This method involves injecting a small amount of a specific toxin into an animal. Then, the body of the animal makes the antitoxin required to neutralize the toxin. After that, blood is withdrawn from the animal. When the antitoxin obtains from the blood, it can be purified and injected into humans or other animals, inducing temporary passive immunity. To prevent serum sickness, often it is best to use an antitoxin that is obtained from the same species (for example, use human antitoxin to treat humans).

Most of the antitoxin preparations are prepared from donors with high titers of antibody against the toxin, making them hyperimmune globulins.


In 1890, the first antitoxin, to diphtheria, was discovered by Shibasaburo Kitasato and Emil von Behring, for which Behring has received the 1901 Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology. Today, antitoxins are being used in the treatment of diphtheria, botulism, gas gangrene, tetanus, and dysentery. The antiserum containing the toxin, or the antitoxin produced, is known as an antivenin if the toxin is venom.

Cause of Infection by Bacteria

Bacteria may also utilize the nutrients and resources of the body, not leaving any left in the body that can wreak havoc on the body. The bacteria we have in our bodies aids us in indigestion. At times, when we are at dis-ease, immunocompromised, sick, the balance of these bacteria gets out of whack.

A small blood clot, which travels to our digestive system, causing the digestion to significantly slow down or almost come to a halt, can multiply, leaving us in a state of an anion gap acidosis - when the body creates excess acid because of the increase in lactate levels that can be harmful to our CNS, GI, kidneys, and skin.

Not all types of bacteria function in a similar way; not all are good, and not all are bad. They function in a different way and can be the result of and\or cause multiple infection types.

Prevention of Bacterial Infections

As the name indicates, antitoxins neutralize toxins. In this particular context, toxins are produced by bacteria. But they contain either little or no effect on any bacterial infection per sec. On the infected person, they can alleviate symptoms but not either prevent or cure an infection. They can only prevent or cure intoxication.

Infection is meant by a pathogenic organism invading the body tissues. An intoxication means that the toxins entered the body, but not necessarily as a producing microorganism.

For suppose, if a few food items are improperly stored, bacteria may proliferate on them and produce toxins. Improper cooking may kill the bacteria but leaves the intact toxins. If anyone eats it, they will get intoxicated.

Often, toxinfection can be used to describe when there is an infection by a toxin-producing microorganism. Antitoxins may neutralize those toxins, but these antibiotics might be needed to clear the infection still.

Anti Tetanus Toxin and Tetanus Toxoid

The toxoid is the one that is used to immunize a person against tetanus. It is given as the toxin that is made by tetanus bacteria but is modified so that it does not cause harm, but still, it is recognized by the human immune system. When we receive any immunization with the toxoid, our immune system prepares the antibodies, which will protect us against future exposures to tetanus and the toxin that it produces.

If we need a faster defense against tetanus, we can be given antibodies from anyone else - or from a horse. This is the tetanus antitoxin (or at times, it is written as anti-tetanus immunoglobulin). The pre-formed antibodies can be administered in the case of a deep wound with a high risk of tetanus in anyone who has not been immunized adequately in the past.

Antibodies Vs. Antitoxins

Antitoxins are the immunological preparations raised by injecting inactivated toxins into a few animals such as horses. The serum from that particular animal can be separated that contains the antibodies specific to the toxin. It is known as antitoxin or hyperimmune serum. The antibodies which are pre-formed when given to persons exposed to the same toxin will give protection by passive means. The time of administration is more critical, and It should be immediately given after the toxin exposure before the toxin starts its action for effective protection.

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FAQs on Antitoxin

1. Give the Medicinal Use of Antitoxin?

Answer: For medical use in the treatment of human infectious diseases, antitoxins can be produced by injecting an animal with a toxin; most commonly, the animal is a horse, is given in small doses of a toxin repeatedly until an excess concentration of the antitoxin builds up in the blood. This resulting highly concentrated antitoxins’ preparation is known as an antiserum.

2. What Are Antibodies?

Answer: An antibody is defined as a protective protein that is produced by the immune system in response to the presence of a foreign substance, known as an antigen. Antibodies can be produced by specialized white blood cells (WBC) known as either B cells or B lymphocytes.

3. What is a Tetanus Toxoid?

Answer: Tetanus toxoid can be prepared from the tetanus toxin. This toxin is a substance that tetanus bacteria produce and that attacks nerves and causes tetanus symptoms. This particular toxoid does not attack the nerves. When the toxoid is injected into any person, their immune system makes antibodies against it. Also, those specific antibodies work against the toxin. And, if everyone receives the immunizations with the help of tetanus toxoid, they will be capable of protecting against the tetanus toxin using their own antibodies.

4. How is Tetanus Cured?

Answer: Tetanus is defined as a disease, which is caused by a bacterial infection. Usually, the bacteria are found in the soil, dust, and bowel movements of a few animals and also humans. Often, the bacteria enter the body via burn or puncture wounds. The bacteria produces a toxin that damages the nerves. This causes a severe muscle spasm. Tetanus, left untreated, can be life-threatening.

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