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Progress toward development of an inhalation vaccine against botulinum toxin.

The looming threat of bioterrorism has enhanced interest in the development of vaccines against agents such as botulinum toxin. This in turn has stimulated efforts to create vaccines that are effective by the oral and inhalation routes. Recently, considerable progress has been made in creating an inhalation vaccine against botulism. This work stems from the discovery that a polypeptide that represents a third of the toxin molecule retains the ability to be adsorbed from the airway and to evoke an immune response but retains none of the adverse effects of the native toxin. Interestingly, this polypeptide can also serve as a carrier molecule in the creation of inhalation vaccines against other pathogens.

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