Historical perspectives and guidelines for botulinum neurotoxin subtype nomenclature

Michael W. Peck, Theresa J. Smith, Fabrizio Anniballi, John W. Austin, Luca Bano, Marite Bradshaw, Paula Cuervo, Luisa W. Cheng, Yagmur Derman, Brigitte G. Dorner, Audrey Fisher, Karen K. Hill, Suzanne R. Kalb, Hannu Korkeala, Miia Lindström, Florigio Lista, Carolina Lúquez, Christelle Mazuet, Marco Pirazzini, Michel R. PopoffOrnella Rossetto, Andreas Rummel, Dorothea Sesardic, Bal Ram Singh, Sandra C. Stringer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Botulinum neurotoxins are diverse proteins. They are currently represented by at least seven serotypes and more than 40 subtypes. New clostridial strains that produce novel neurotoxin variants are being identified with increasing frequency, which presents challenges when organizing the nomenclature surrounding these neurotoxins. Worldwide, researchers are faced with the possibility that toxins having identical sequences may be given different designations or novel toxins having unique sequences may be given the same designations on publication. In order to minimize these problems, an ad hoc committee consisting of over 20 researchers in the field of botulinum neurotoxin research was convened to discuss the clarification of the issues involved in botulinum neurotoxin nomenclature. This publication presents a historical overview of the issues and provides guidelines for botulinum neurotoxin subtype nomenclature in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number38
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 18 2017


  • Botulinum
  • Botulism
  • Clostridium botulinum
  • Guidelines
  • Neurotoxins
  • Nomenclature
  • Subtypes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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