Tetanus Toxin

∞ generated and posted on 2016.03.18 ∞

Bacterial virulence factor capable of causing lockjaw.

This toxin is produced by Clostridium tetani and the virulence factor itself constitutes an exotoxin. It is the underlying cause of the disease, tetanus, which is a more formal name for lockjaw.

Or, in the case of the following video, what instead might be described instead as a "locked leg":

Particularly as associated with soil-contaminated deep wounds, exposure to this toxin represents an intoxication since live organism is not necessary to cause disease, just its tetanus toxin product.

Another name for tetanus toxin is simply tetanospasmin.

The explanation for why tetanus toxin exists presumably is the same for why botulinum toxin exists :

The genome sequence shows that C. botulinum doesn't have subtle tools to evade our or tricky methods of acquiring resistance to antibiotics. It lives either as a dormant spore or as a of animal materials in the , and doesn't interact with human or other large animal hosts for prolonged periods of time.

Occasionally it gets into a living animal, via or , leading to or , both of which are serious human infections. The host can be quickly overpowered and, in some cases, killed by the toxin, and C. botulinum has a new .