Blend of antibodies could neutralize toxic effects, tests in mice show
WASHINGTON — It has been used by an assassin wielding a poisoned umbrella and sent in a suspicious letter to a president.
Ricin, the potent toxin and bioterrorism agent, has no antidote and can cause death within days. But a cocktail of antibodies could one day offer victims at least a slim window for treatment.
A new study presented February 7 at the American Society for Microbiology’s Biothreats meeting reveals a ricin antidote that, in mice, works even days after exposure to the toxin. Another presented study offers a potential explanation for how such an antidote might work.
Doctors need some way to deal with ricin poisoning, said Patrick Cherubin, a cell biologist at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. Immunologist Nicholas Mantis agreed: “There is no specific