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Encyclopedia > Toxin
Part of a series on
Toxicology and poison
Toxicology (Forensic) - Toxinology
History of poison
(ICD-10 T36-T65, ICD-9 960-989)
Concepts
Poison - Toxicant - Antidote
Acceptable daily intake - Acute toxicity - Bioaccumulation -Fixed Dose Procedure - LD50 - Lethal dose - Toxic capacity - Toxicity Class
Toxins and venoms
Neurotoxin - Necrotoxin - Hemotoxin - Mycotoxin - Aflatoxin - Phototoxin
List of fictional toxins
Incidents
Bradford - Minamata - Niigata - Alexander Litvinenko - Bhopal
2007 pet food recalls
List of poisonings
Poisoning types
Elements
Toxic metal (Lead - Mercury - Cadmium - Iron - Arsenic) - Fluoride - Oxygen
Seafood
Shellfish (Paralytic - Diarrheal - Neurologic - Amnesic) - Ciguatera - Scombroid - Tetrodotoxin
Other substances
Pesticide - Organophosphate - Food - Nicotine - Theobromine - Carbon monoxide - Vitamin - Medicines
Living organisms
Mushrooms - Plants - Animals
Related topics
Hazard symbol - Carcinogen - Mutagen - List of Extremely Hazardous Substances - Biological warfare

A toxin (Greek: τοξικόν, toxikon, lit. (poison) for use on arrows) is a poisonous substance produced by living cells or organisms. Toxins are nearly always proteins that are capable of causing disease on contact or absorption with body tissues by interacting with biological macromolecules such as enzymes or cellular receptors. Toxins vary greatly in their severity, ranging from usually minor and acute (as in a bee sting) to almost immediately deadly (as in botulinum toxin). Toxin can have several meanings that relate to toxin, or poison: Toxin (novel) is a 1998 novel by Robin Cook Toxin (comics), a fictional character by Marvel Comics universe, grandson of Venom and ally of Spider-Man. ... The skull and crossbones symbol (Jolly Roger) traditionally used to label a poisonous substance. ... Toxicology (from the Greek words toxicos and logos [1]) is the study of the adverse effects of chemicals on living organisms [2]. It is the study of symptoms, mechanisms, treatments and detection of poisoning, especially the poisoning of people. ... Forensic toxicology is the use of toxicology to aid medicolegal investigation of death, poisoning, and drug use. ... Toxinology is the specialized area of toxicology that deals specifically with biological toxins, such as venoms or poisonous plants. ... The history of poisons (poison being defined as a substance that causes death or injury when swallowed or absorbed)[1] stretches over a period from before 4500 BC to the present day. ... The skull and crossbones symbol (Jolly Roger) traditionally used to label a poisonous substance. ... A toxicant is a chemical compound that has an effect on organisms. ... An antidote is a substance which can counteract a form of poisoning. ... Acceptable Daily Intake or ADI is a measure of a specific substance (usually a food additive) in food or drinking water that can be ingested over a lifetime without an appreciable health risk. ... Acute Toxicity is a property of a substance that has toxic effects on a living organism, when that organism is exposed to a lethal dose of a substance once. ... If the input of a toxic substance to an organism is greater than the rate at which the substance is lost, the organism is said to be bioaccumulating that substance. ... The fixed-dose procedure (FDP) was proposed in 1984 to assess a substances acute oral toxicity using fewer animals with less suffering than the older LD50 test developed in 1927. ... An LD50 test being administered In toxicology, the LD50 or colloquially semilethal dose of a particular substance is a measure of how much constitutes a lethal dose. ... A lethal dose (LD) is an indication of the lethality of a given substance or type of radiation. ... Toxic capacity can mean the toxicity of a substance, possibly in relation to a specific organism and toxic capacity can mean the capacity of an organism, organic system or ecosystem to contain a toxic substance or a selection of toxic substances (a compound) without showing signs of poisoning or dying. ... Toxicity Class refers to a classification system for pesticides created by a national or international government-related or -sponsored organization. ... Wasp sting, with droplet of venom Venom (literally, poison of animal origin) is any of a variety of toxins used by animals, for the purpose of defense and hunting. ... A neurotoxin is a toxin that acts specifically on nerve cells – neurons – usually by interacting with membrane proteins such as ion channels. ... Necrosis (in Greek Νεκρός = Dead) is the name given to unprogrammed death of cells/living tissue (compare with apoptosis - programmed cell death). ... Hemotoxins are toxins that destroy red blood cells (hemolysis), disrupt blood clotting, and/or cause organ degeneration and generalized tissue damage. ... Mycotoxin (from Gk. ... Chemical structure of aflatoxin B1 Aflatoxins are naturally occurring mycotoxins that are produced by many species of Aspergillus, a fungus, most notably Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. ... Phototoxins are toxins that can cause allergic reactions in particularly susceptible individuals and which can cause dangerous photosensitivity in a much broader range of subjects. ... This is a list of toxins, poisons and chemical weapons from works of fiction (usually in fantasy and science fiction). ... The Bradford sweets poisoning was the accidental arsenic poisoning of more than 200 people in Bradford, England in 1858; an estimated 20 people died when sweets accidentally made with arsenic were sold from a market stall. ... Minamata disease ), sometimes referred to as Chisso-Minamata disease ), is a neurological syndrome caused by severe mercury poisoning. ... Main article: Minamata disease Niigata Minamata disease ) is a neurological syndrome caused by severe mercury poisoning. ... On November 1, 2006, former lieutenant colonel of the Russian Federations Federal Security Service Alexander Litvinenko suddenly fell ill and was hospitalised. ... The Bhopal Disaster took place in the early hours of the morning of December 3, 1984,[1] in the heart of the city of Bhopal in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. ... Dogs and cats have been the main affected pets of the recall. ... This is a list of poisonings in chronological order of victim. ... Toxic metals are metals that form poisonous soluble compounds and have no biological role, i. ... Lead poisoning is a medical condition, also known as saturnism, plumbism or painters colic, caused by increased blood lead levels. ... It has been suggested that Acrodynia be merged into this article or section. ... Cadmium has no constructive purpose in the human body. ... Iron poisoning is caused by an excess of iron in the blood. ... Arsenic poisoning kills by allosteric inhibition of essential metabolic enzymes, leading to death from multi-system organ failure. ... In high concentrations, as with almost all substances, fluoride compounds are toxic. ... Oxygen toxicity or oxygen toxicity syndrome is severe hyperoxia caused by breathing oxygen at elevated partial pressures. ... There are four syndromes called shellfish poisoning, which share some common features and are primarily associated with bivalve molluscs (such as mussels, clams, oysters and scallops). ... 4 distinct shellfish-poisoning syndromes have been identified: Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) Neurologic shellfish poisoning (NSP) Diarrheal shellfish poisoning (DSP) Amnestic shellfish poisoning (ASP) All 4 syndromes share some common features and primarily are associated with bivalve mollusks (eg, mussels, clams, oysters, scallops). ... Diarrheal shellfish poisoning (DSP) is one of the four recognised symptom types of shellfish poisoning, the others being paralytic shellfish poisoning, neurologic shellfish poisoning and amnesic shellfish poisoning. ... Amnesic shellfish poisoning (ASP) is one of the four recognised syndromes of shellfish poisoning (the others being neurotoxic shellfish poisoning [1], diarrhetic shellfish poisoning [2] and paralytic shellfish poisoning). ... Chemical structure of the ciguatoxin CTX1B Ciguatera is a foodborne illness poisoning in humans caused by eating marine species whose flesh is contaminated with a toxin known as ciguatoxin, which is present in many micro-organisms (particularly, the micro-algae Gambierdiscus toxicus) living in tropical waters. ... Scombroid is a foodborne illness poisoning associated with eating seafood that has been stored improperly. ... Tetrodotoxin (anhydrotetrodotoxin 4-epitetrodotoxin, tetrodonic acid, TTX) is a potent neurotoxin with no known antidote, which blocks action potentials in nerves by binding to the pores of the voltage-gated, fast sodium channels in nerve cell membranes. ... Pesticide poisonings, where chemicals intended to control a pest affect non-target organisms such as humans, wildlife, or bees. ... Many organophosphates are potent neurotoxins, functioning by inhibiting the action of acetylcholinesterase (AChE) in nerve cells. ... Historically, most cases of nicotine poisoning have been the result of its use as an insecticide; however, such use is less frequent now than previously. ... Theobromine poisoning or chocolate poisoning is an adverse reaction to the alkaloid theobromine, found in chocolate, tea, cola beverages, and some other foods. ... Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs after the inhalation of carbon monoxide gas. ... Vitamin poisoning, or hypervitaminosis, refers to a condition of high storage levels of vitamins, which can lead to toxic symptoms. ... The term drug overdose (or simply overdose) describes the ingestion or application of a drug or other substance in quantities greater than are recommended or generally practiced. ... The current version of the article or section is written like a magazine article instead of the formal tone expected of an encyclopedia. ... This is a list of plants containing poisonous parts that pose a serious risk of illness, injury, or death to humans. ... This is a list of organisms that are dangerous to humans. ... The skull and crossbones, a common symbol for poison. ... The hazard symbol for carcinogenic chemicals in the Globally Harmonized System. ... In biology, a mutagen (Latin, literally origin of change) is a physical or chemical agent that changes the genetic information (usually DNA) of an organism and thus increases the number of mutations above the natural background level. ... This is a list of Extremely Hazardous Substances as defined by Section 302 of the U.S. Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act. ... For the use of biological agents by terrorists, see bioterrorism. ... The skull and crossbones symbol (Jolly Roger) traditionally used to label a poisonous substance. ... A representation of the 3D structure of myoglobin, showing coloured alpha helices. ... Biological tissue is a collection of interconnected cells that perform a similar function within an organism. ... A macromolecule is a large molecule with a large molecular mass bonded covalently, but generally the use of the term is restricted to polymers and molecules which structurally include polymers. ... Ribbon diagram of the enzyme TIM, surrounded by the space-filling model of the protein. ... In biochemistry, a receptor is a protein on the cell membrane or within the cytoplasm or cell nucleus that binds to a specific molecule (a ligand), such as a neurotransmitter, hormone, or other substance, and initiates the cellular response to the ligand. ... For other uses, see Western honey bee and Bee (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Stinger (disambiguation). ... Botulinum toxin is a neurotoxin protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. ...


Biotoxins vary greatly in purpose and mechanism, and can be highly complex (the venom of the cone snail contains dozens of small proteins, each targeting a specific nerve channel or receptor), or relatively small protein. Wasp sting, with droplet of venom Venom (literally, poison of animal origin) is any of a variety of toxins used by animals, for the purpose of defense and hunting. ... Genera Asprella Chelyconus Conus Floraconus Leptoconus The cone snails or cone shells (family Conidae) are marine snails found in coral reefs. ... A representation of the 3D structure of myoglobin, showing coloured alpha helices. ...

Contents

Use

Biotoxins in nature have two primary functions:

Some of the more well known types of biotoxins include: Diversity 111 families, 40,000 species Suborders Mesothelae Mygalomorphae Araneomorphae  See table of families Wikispecies has information related to: Spiders Spiders are predatory invertebrate animals that have two body segments, eight legs, no chewing mouth parts and no wings. ... For other uses, see Snake (disambiguation). ... Superfamilies Pseudochactoidea Buthoidea Chaeriloidea Chactoidea Iuroidea Scorpionoidea See classification for families. ... For other uses, see Jellyfish (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Wasp (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Western honey bee and Bee (disambiguation). ... Distribution of Dendrobatidae (in black) Genera Proposed Subfamily Colostethinae proposed genus Ameerega Colostethus Epipedobates proposed genus Silverstoneia Proposed Subfamily Hyloxalinae Proposed genus Hyloxalus Proposed Subfamily Dendrobatinae Proposed genus Adelphobates Dendrobates Minyobates Proposed genus Oophaga Phyllobates Proposed genus Ranitomeya Proposed obsolete (invalid) Dendrobatidae genera: Cryptophyllobates Nephelobates The poison dart frog, poison... Binomial name L. Deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna), also known as belladonna or dwale, is a well-known perennial herbaceous plant, with leaves and berries that are highly toxic and hallucinogenic. ... The honeybee is a colonial insect that is often maintained, fed, and transported by farmers. ... For other uses, see Wasp (disambiguation). ...

Plant Toxins Hemotoxins are toxins that destroy red blood cells (hemolysis), disrupt blood clotting, and/or cause organ degeneration and generalized tissue damage. ... Genera See text. ... Species 27 species; see list of rattlesnake species and subspecies. ... Necrosis (in Greek Νεκρός = Dead) is the name given to accidental death of cells and living tissue. ... Biological tissue is a collection of interconnected cells that perform a similar function within an organism. ... Beyond overall skin structure, refer below to: See-also. ... A top-down view of skeletal muscle Muscle (from Latin musculus little mouse [1]) is contractile tissue of the body and is derived from the mesodermal layer of embryonic germ cells. ... Binomial name Gertsch & Mulaik, 1940 The brown recluse spider, Loxosceles reclusa, of the family Sicariidae (formerly of the family Loxoscelidae). ... Necrotizing fasciitis or fasciitis necroticans, commonly known as flesh-eating bacteria, is a rare infection of the deeper layers of skin and subcutaneous tissues, easily spreading across the fascial plane within the subcutaneous tissue. ... Binomial name Streptococcus pyogenes Rosenbach 1884 Streptococcus pyogenes is a Gram-positive coccus that grows in long chains depending on the culture method. ... A neurotoxin is a toxin that acts specifically on nerve cells – neurons – usually by interacting with membrane proteins such as ion channels. ... For other uses, see Black Widow. ... Species Approx. ... Superfamilies Pseudochactoidea Buthoidea Chaeriloidea Chactoidea Iuroidea Scorpionoidea See classification for families. ... Families see text Jellyfish net enclosure at Ellis Beach, Queensland Box jellyfish are water-dwelling invertebrates belonging to the class Cubozoa, named for their cube-shaped medusae. ... The Elapidae, or elapids, are a family of highly venomous snakes found in tropical and subtropical regions around the world, including the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. ... Genera Asprella Chelyconus Conus Floraconus Leptoconus The cone snails or cone shells (family Conidae) are marine snails found in coral reefs. ...


Ricin is found in the castor bean plant.


Non-technical usage

When used non-technically, the term "toxin" is often applied to any toxic substances. Toxic substances not of biological origin are more properly termed poisons. Many non-technical and lifestyle journalists also follow this usage to refer to toxic substances in general, though some specialist journalists at publishers such as BBC and The Guardian maintain the distinction that toxins are only those produced by living organisms. Toxic redirects here, but this is also the name of a song by Britney Spears; see Toxic (song) Look up toxic and toxicity in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... The skull and crossbones symbol (Jolly Roger) traditionally used to label a poisonous substance. ... Toxicity is a measure of the degree to which something is toxic or poisonous; the word also has several additional meanings: Look up toxicity, toxic in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see BBC (disambiguation). ... The Guardian is a British newspaper owned by the Guardian Media Group. ...


In the context of alternative medicine the term is often used nonspecifically to refer to any substance claimed to cause ill health, ranging anywhere from trace amounts of pesticides to common food items like refined sugar or additives like artificial sweeteners and MSG.[1] Alternative medicine is defined as any of various systems of healing or treating disease (as chiropractic, homeopathy, or faith healing) not included in the traditional medical curricula taught in the United States and Britain.[1] Complementary medicine is defined as any of the practices (as acupuncture) of alternative medicine accepted... This article is about sugar as food and as an important and widely-traded commodity. ... A sweetener is a food additive which adds the basic taste of sweetness to a food. ... This article is about monosodium glutamate as a food additive. ...


The term is also used commonly in pop psychology to describe things that have an adverse effect on psychological health, such as a "toxic relationship," "toxic work environment" or "toxic shame." Popular psychology refers to concepts and theories about human mental life and behaviour that come from outside the technical study of psychology, but purport to go beyond everyday knowledge. ...


See also

Apitoxin, or honey bee venom, is a bitter colorless liquid. ... An exotoxin is a soluble chemical excreted by a microorganism, including bacteria, fungi, algae, and protozoa. ... Hemotoxins are toxins that destroy red blood cells (hemolysis), disrupt blood clotting, and/or cause organ degeneration and generalized tissue damage. ... Mycotoxin (from Gk. ... A neurotoxin is a toxin that acts specifically on nerve cells – neurons – usually by interacting with membrane proteins such as ion channels. ... Phototoxins are toxins that can cause allergic reactions in particularly susceptible individuals and which can cause dangerous photosensitivity in a much broader range of subjects. ... This article needs to be wikified. ... A toxoid is a bacterial toxin whose toxicity as been weakened or supressed while other properties, typically immunogenicity, are maintained. ... Wasp sting, with droplet of venom Venom (literally, poison of animal origin) is any of a variety of toxins used by animals, for the purpose of defense and hunting. ... This is a list of toxins, poisons and chemical weapons from works of fiction (usually in fantasy and science fiction). ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Toxin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (423 words)
Toxins are nearly always proteins that are capable of causing disease on contact or absorption with body tissues by interacting with biological macromolecules such as enzymes or cellular receptors.
Toxins vary greatly in their severity, ranging from usually minor and acute (as in a bee sting) to almost immediately deadly (as in botulinum toxin).
The toxins may be produced either in the living body during infection (for instance, by tetanus) or by bacteria in dead biological material.
Botulin toxin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1567 words)
The toxins incorporate an enzyme (a protease) that attacks one of the fusion proteins at a neuromuscular junction, preventing vesicles from anchoring to the membrane to release acetylcholine.
Botulin toxin has always been considered an inferior agent for chemical warfare since it degrades rapidly on exposure to air, and therefore an area attacked with the toxic aerosol would be safe to enter within a day or so.
Other uses of botulinum toxin type A that are widely known but not approved by FDA include urinary incontinence, anal fissure, spastic disorders associated with injury or disease of the central nervous system including trauma, stroke, multiple sclerosis, or cerebral palsy and focal dystonias affecting the limbs, face, jaw, or vocal cords.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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