Antitoxins and toxoids are two types of components of immunization. They are used to immunize humans and animals.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Antitoxin
– Definition, Features, Importance
2. What is Toxoid
– Definition, Features, Importance
3. Similarities Between Antitoxin and Toxoid
– Outline of Common Features
4. Difference Between Antitoxin and Toxoid
– Comparison of Key Differences
What is Antitoxin
Antitoxin refers to an antibody with the ability to neutralize a particular toxin. Animals, plants, and bacteria produce antitoxins in response to a toxin. Apart from the effective neutralization of toxins, antitoxins are capable of killing microorganisms such as bacteria. However, antitoxins are made inside organisms. But these antitoxins can be given to other organisms as well. Importantly, they can be a treatment for a specific infectious disease. In the production of antitoxins, animals are injected with a small amount of a particular toxin. Then, the animal body makes antitoxins against that toxin. After that, antitoxins can be purified from the blood of the animal.
Furthermore, injecting antitoxins against a particular toxin is a type of passive immunity. In order to prevent serum sickness, antitoxins are produced in the same species. Significantly, antitoxins can be given as a treatment for a particular disease in a medical emergency. It provides short-term and immediate protection against diseases. For example, tetanus antitoxin can be given in injuries such as bites, cuts, and puncture wounds.
What is Toxoid
Toxoid is an inactivated toxin. This means the toxicity of the toxin is suppressed by heat or chemical treatments. However, the immunogenicity of the toxin is maintained. Therefore, toxoids are the altered form of toxins produced and secreted by bacteria. After vaccination with toxoids, our body mounts an immune response and generates immunological memory against toxoids. For example, there are toxoids against diphtheria, tetanus, and botulism. Further, toxoids are important as vaccines, inducing immune responses against the original toxin. Therefore, injecting toxoids as vaccines is a type of active immunity.
Moreover, another important feature of toxoid is that it is used for long-term immunity.
Similarities Between Antitoxin and Toxoid
- Antitoxins and toxoids are two types of immune components used in immunization.
- They are important for getting immune protection against a particular disease in humans as well as animals.
Difference Between Antitoxin and Toxoid
Antitoxin refers to an antibody that is capable of neutralizing the specific toxin, while toxoid refers to a chemically modified toxin from a pathogenic microorganism, which is no longer toxic but is still antigenic and can be used as a vaccine.
Antitoxin is the antibodies directed against bacterial toxins, while toxoid is inactivated bacterial toxin.
Antitoxin is a treatment for a disease, while toxoid is a vaccine that prevents disease.
Type of Immunity
Antitoxin is a type of passive immunity, while toxoid is a type of active immunity.
Antitoxin is important for short-term immunity, while toxoid is important for long-term immunity.
In brief, antitoxins and toxoids are two components important for the immunization of the body against a particular disease. Antitoxin is an antibody directed against a bacterial toxin. Also, it is a treatment for a disease. Importantly, antitoxin is a type of passive immunity that lasts for a short period of time. Meanwhile, toxoid is the inactivated bacterial toxins. Besides, it is a vaccine that prevents a particular disease caused by bacteria. Also, toxoids are a type of active immunity that lasts for a longer period of time. Therefore, the main difference between antitoxin and toxoid is their type.
- Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. (n.d.-a). Antitoxin. Encyclopædia Britannica.
- Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. (n.d.-d). Toxoid. Encyclopædia Britannica.
- “Antitoxin diphtheria” By A Short History of the National Institutes of Health – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia
- “US Navy 110827-N-KA543-005 Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Chris Dunbar, assigned to Naval Medical Center San Diego, gives a patient a tetanus, diphthe” By U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chad A. Bascom – Own Work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia