Therapeutic Strategy to Treat Botulism


Botulism is a deadly disease that affects both humans and animals. The toxin released in this disease results in neuronal paralysis. Currently, there are limited treatment options in developing countries. For example, antitoxin must be administered in a timely manner, which is not available readily in developing countries.

Pandian et al. published a research study in 2015 that focused on therapeutic management in dairy cattle. The purpose of the study was to find an effective therapeutic strategy that allowed the animals to improve their symptoms and alleviate their pain. The researchers studied 74 diseased dairy cattle that came from different regions and collected their samples including blood, feces, and rumen fluid. These samples were then injected into mice to perform the mouse lethality test. The ingredients of the inoculum were made in the following manner. First, gelatin and feces or rumen fluid were mixed and centrifuged. Trypsin was added to the mixture before inoculation into the mice. The mice were analyzed for four days. The mice that exhibited symptoms and died confirmed the presence of the disease. There were three treatment groups selected. The first treatment group involved IV and activated charcoal. The second treatment group involved IV, activated charcoal, and vitamins. The third treatment group involved activated charcoal, vitamins, trace minerals and probiotics. The third treatment group did not involve IV nor antibiotics. Observations show that the mice exhibited symptoms of the disease: abdominal breathing, abnormal feces, and lateral recumbency. Results show that 0 mice survived from groups 1 and 2. There were 17 mice that survived from group 3. The results of the research study show that IV and antibiotics are not helpful for the treatment of botulism. An effective way to treat the symptoms of this disease can be done by providing activated charcoal, vitamins, trace minerals, and probiotics to the diseased mice. This research study provides an innovative way to treat dairy cattle that suffer from botulism. Future studies can compare this method to the antitoxin that are used.

All diseases that affect humans and animals are horrible. Diseases that are caused by bacteria can often be treated with antibiotics that focus on peptidoglycan synthesis, protein synthesis, or nucleic acid synthesis. The research mentioned above sheds light on the idea that antibiotics are not effective in treating botulism. This idea is huge! This shows that the modern way of treating diseases caused by bacteria does not apply to botulism specifically. This new finding allows researchers to find a more effective treatment option. This may also be true for other diseases that are caused by bacteria. Perhaps, future research can focus on treating diseases in a therapeutic way instead of through antibiotics.

This research is valuable because the methods and treatments performed are relatively easy to replicate for other diseases. In this study, samples were collected and injected into mice. The mice were observed for symptoms and treated in three different ways (as mentioned above). Results were obtained and analyzed. This method of studying diseases can be applied to other diseases as well in order to obtain results that show if a specific treatment is effective or not effective. Additionally, this research study provides a therapeutic way to overcome the symptoms of botulism. The therapeutic strategy can be utilized in various developing countries that lack the resources for other treatment options.

Note to future researchers: You can replicate this study and focus on other diseases that affect animals! You may find something new that can change the way a specific disease is treated. This is definitely an easy research tool (compared to other research methods). You can potentially help developing countries save their animals by implementing your cost-effective treatment methods!


Pandian SJ, Subramanian M, Vijaykumar G, Balasubramaniam GA, and Sukumar K. 2015. Vet World. [internet]; 8(11): 1305-1309. Retrieved from




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