Chapter

Ricin and Shiga Toxins

Volume 357 of the series Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology pp 209-241

Date:

Immunity to Ricin: Fundamental Insights into Toxin–Antibody Interactions

  • Joanne M. O’HaraAffiliated withDivision of Infectious Disease, Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of HealthDepartment of Biomedical Sciences, University at Albany School of Public Health
  • , Anastasiya YermakovaAffiliated withDivision of Infectious Disease, Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of HealthDepartment of Biomedical Sciences, University at Albany School of Public Health
  • , Nicholas J. MantisAffiliated withDivision of Infectious Disease, Wadsworth Center, New York State Department of HealthDepartment of Biomedical Sciences, University at Albany School of Public Health Email author 

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Abstract

Ricin toxin is an extraordinarily potent inducer of cell death and inflammation. Ricin is also a potent provocateur of the humoral immune system, eliciting a mixture of neutralizing, non-neutralizing and even toxin-enhancing antibodies. The characterization of dozens of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against the toxin’s enzymatic (RTA) and binding (RTB) subunits has begun to reveal fundamental insights into the underlying mechanisms by which antibodies neutralize (or fail to neutralize) ricin in systemic and mucosal compartments. This information has had immediate applications in the design, development and evaluation of ricin subunit vaccines and immunotherapeutics.