- An antibody capable of destroying microorganisms including viruses and bacteria. An antitoxin provides passive immunity. For example, if a child gets whooping cough (diphtheria), an antitoxin prepared in horses against diphtheria may be useful in treatment. The antitoxin can only be of short-term value because the antibodies against diphtheria were made by the horse and the child is just the passive recipient of the antibodies. The antitoxin is directed against a toxin, one of a number of poisons produced by certain plants, animals, and bacteria. The term "toxin" is frequently used to refer specifically to a particular protein produced by some higher plants, animals and pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria. A toxin typically has a high molecular weight (as compared to a simple chemical poison), is antigenic (elicits an antibody response), and is highly poisonous to living creatures. The word "toxin" comes from the Greek "toxikon" = arrow poison.
* * *Antibody formed in response to antigenic poisonous substances of biologic origin, such as bacterial exotoxins ( e.g., those elaborated by Clostridium tetani or Corynebacterium diphtheriae), phytotoxins, and zootoxins; in general usage, a. refers to whole, or globulin fraction of, serum from persons or animals (usually horses) immunized by injections of the specific toxoid. A. neutralizes the pharmacologic effects of its specific toxin in vitro, and also in vivo if the toxin is not already fixed to the tissue cells. [anti- + G. toxikon, poison]- bothropic a. a. specific for the venom of pit vipers of the genus Bothrops (Bothrophora) of the family Crotalidae. SYN: Bothrops a..- Bothrops a. SYN: bothropic a..- botulinum a. SYN: botulism a..- botulism a. a. specific for a toxin of one or another strain of Clostridium botulinum. SYN: botulinum a..- bovine a. a. prepared from cattle instead of horses, used in the treatment of persons who are sensitive to horse serum; the cattle are immunized against the toxin for which specific a. is desired.- despeciated a. an antitoxic serum treated in an appropriate manner to alter the species-specific protein, so that a person sensitized to the animal protein is not likely to have a serious reaction when the a. is administered.- gas gangrene a. a. specific for the toxin of one or more species of Clostridium that cause gas gangrene and associated toxemia, especially C. perfringens, C. novyi, C. histolyticum, and commercially available preparations are usually polyvalent, i.e., contain a. for two or more species. SYN: pentavalent gas gangrene a..- normal a. serum that is capable of neutralizing an equivalent quantity of a normal toxin solution.- scarlet fever a. a. specific for the erythrogenic toxin of certain strains of group A β-hemolytic streptococci.- staphylococcus a. a serum containing antitoxic globulins or their derivatives that specifically neutralize the lethal, skin-necrosing, and hemolytic properties of the α-toxin of Staphylococcus aureus.- tetanus and gas gangrene antitoxins a mixture of antibodies obtained from animals immunized against the toxins of Clostridium tetani, C. perfringens, and C. septicum.- tetanus-perfringens a. an a. prepared from animals immunized against the toxins of Clostridium tetani and C. perfringens (C. welchii).
* * *an·ti·tox·in .ant-i-'täk-sən n an antibody that is capable of neutralizing the specific toxin (as a specific causative agent of disease) that stimulated its production in the body and is produced in animals for medical purposes by injection of a toxin or toxoid with the resulting serum being used to counteract the toxin in other individuals also an antiserum containing antitoxins
* * *n.an antibody produced by the body to counteract a toxin formed by invading bacteria or from any other source.
* * *an·ti·tox·in (an″tĭ-tokґsin) 1. antibody against a toxin. 2. a purified antiserum from animals (usually horses) immunized by injections of a toxin or toxoid, administered as a passive immunizing agent to neutralize a specific bacterial toxin, e.g., botulinus, tetanus, or diphtheria.
Medical dictionary. 2011.