Friday, May 09, 2014

Eyeing Botox

Clostridium botulinum (Image source: Wikipedia)

In 1895 a Belgian bacteriologist named Ermengem took a close look at a piece of rotten ham that had poisoned thirty-four people.

Under the microscope, Ermengem discovered a bacteria that would become the center of attention for military strategists, doctors, cosmetic surgeons, and foodies: Clostridium botulinum.

C. botulinum is an anaerobic spore-forming Gram positive bacteria which produces Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) - one of the world's most lethal biological weapon agents. One single gram of BoNT can kill 14,285 people (ingested), 1.25m people (inhaled), or 8.3 million people (injected). Amazingly, this very same toxin is now being used to cure vision disorders like Strabismus (squint eyes), amblyopia (lazy eyes), and for the removal of facial wrinkles (botox)!

How on earth did people discover that the most lethal neuro-toxin in the world can cure eye problems and make ladies look prettier??



- Botulinum Toxin Type-A (BXTA) - First Indian manufacturer (2007) - Bio-Med, Ghaziabad - brandname "BotoGenie" -
- Allergan Inc., USA -
- Coleman & Zilinskas (2010): FAKE BOTOX, REAL THREAT, Scientific American, June 2010 --
-Talreja, Vishaka (2007): CHINESE BOTOX WON'T LET YOU LOOK YOUNG, TOI, 28Oct 2007 -- url --
- A 100 unit Botox vial is priced at Rs 16,650. On the other hand the Chinese botox is available at a price 40% less than AllergAn's Botox.
- Anti-wrinke procedure costs Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 20,000
- 25,000 non-surgical Botox procedures in 2007 --- In USA there were 3 million such cosmetic procedures in 2006

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