The mouse lethality bioassay (MLB) is used extensively for testing products and samples that are suspected to contain botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT). It is estimated that approximately 600,000 mice are used worldwide in diagnostics and pharmaceutical applications for this purpose. The MLB has significant welfare implications, causing severe distress to the animals and death by slow asphyxiation over a period of up to four days.
However the latest CRACK IT Solution suggests that the MLB’s days are numbered! Researchers from the University of Freiburg, Germany, have developed a novel automated bioluminescence assay for detecting BoNT (BLB-Test) which could replace the MLB. The assay can detect and distinguish all of the disease-causing BoNT serotypes, making the BLB-Test useful for analysis of samples from human and animal, foodstuff and environmental samples. The BLB-Test detects the endopeptidase activity of the light chain domain of BoNT, thereby detecting only active toxin and avoiding potential false positives caused by inactive BoNT, and can detect toxins in complex matrices without the need for sample pre-treatment.
The Solution providers are now seeking partners to validate and commercialize the assay. If you are interested to learn more about the technology or think you might be able to help in its future development, please visit the CRACK IT Solutions website.