A Novel Botulinum Neurotoxin, Previously Reported as Serotype H, Has a Hybrid-Like Structure With Regions of Similarity to the Structures of Serotypes A and F and Is Neutralized With Serotype A Antitoxin

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Botulism is a potentially fatal paralytic disease caused by the action of botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) on nerve cells. There are 7 known serotypes (A–G) of BoNT and up to 40 genetic variants. Clostridium botulinum strain IBCA10-7060 was recently reported to produce BoNT serotype B (BoNT/B) and a novel BoNT, designated as BoNT/H. The BoNT gene (bont) sequence of BoNT/H was compared to known bont sequences. Genetic analysis suggested that BoNT/H has a hybrid-like structure containing regions of similarity to the structures of BoNT/A1 and BoNT/F5. This novel BoNT was serologically characterized by the mouse neutralization assay and a neuronal cell–based assay. The toxic effects of this hybrid-like BoNT were completely eliminated by existing serotype A antitoxins, including those contained in multivalent therapeutic antitoxin products that are the mainstay of human botulism treatment.

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