Tetanus Toxin

Characteristics

Natural Source Clostridium tetani
MW 100 kDa heavy chain (fragment B) and a 50kDa light chain (fragment A)
Type of Toxin

Neurotoxin

Commercial Presentation

 Powder

Health Hazards

Modes of Transmission

Spores of C. tetani are found in soil, dust and animal feces. Transmission occurs through contamination of wounds with soil or foreign bodies contaminated with C. tetani spores. There is no person to person transmission.

LD50 (ug/kg) in Humans

0.003 ug/kg

Signs and Symptoms

Unopposed muscle contraction and spasm, Risus Sardonicus (a rigid smile), Trismus (commonly known as lock-jaw), and Opisthotonus (rigid, arched back). Seizures may occur, and the autonomic nervous system may also be affected

Treatment

Tetanus is a medical emergency requiring hospitalization, immediate treatment with human tetanus immune globulin (TIG), agents to control muscle spasm, aggressive wound care, antibiotics, and a tetanus toxoid booster. If tetanus immune globulin is unavailable, Immune Globulin Intravenous (IGIV) can be used.

Host Range

Human, domestic and wild animals.

Medical Precautions/Treatment

Prophylaxis Follow CDC’s protocol for tetanus prophylaxis with TIG in routine wound management.
Vaccines

Vaccination during recovery: Tetanus disease does not result in tetanus immunity. Active immunization with a tetanus toxoid-containing vaccine should begin or continue as soon as the person’s condition has stabilized.

Individuals working with Tetanus Toxin should be offered the Tetanus vaccine. Adults should get one dose of the tetanus and diphtheria (Td) vaccine every 10 years.
Diagnosis Physical exam, medical and immunization history, and the signs and symptoms of muscle spasms, stiffness and pain. Laboratory tests generally aren't helpful for diagnosing tetanus.

Emory Requirements

Report all incidents using PeopleSoft.

Laboratory Hazards

Laboratory Acquired Infections Laboratory-acquired cases of Tetanus Toxin have occurred.
Sources Inhaled, ingestion, skin absorption.

References

Containment

ABSL1 Follow Chemical Safety hazard assessment. Work inside the biosafety cabinet.
BSL2 In vitro work should be conducted inside the BSC.

Spill Procedures

Small Notify others working in the lab.  Allow aerosols to settle.  Don appropriate PPE. An EPA-registered disinfectant should be used to remove contaminating matter from surfaces (e.g., of bench tops and equipment). All decontamination litter and other disposable materials should be autoclaved.
Large

For assistance, contact Emory’s Biosafety Officer (404-727-8863), or the EHSO Spill Team (404-727-2888)

Exposure Procedures

Mucous Membrane Flush eyes, mouth or nose for 15 minutes at eyewash station.
Other Exposures Wash area with soap and water for 15 minutes.
Reporting Immediately report incident to supervisor, complete an employee incident report using PeopleSoft.
Medical Follow-up 

7am-4pm (OIM): 404-686-8587

After Hours: OIM NP On Call 404-686-5500 PIC# 50464

Needle Stick (OIM): 404-686-8587 or APP On Call: 404-686-5500 PIC# 50464

Yerkes: Maureen Thompson, Office (404-727-8012), Cell (404-275-0963)

Viability

Disinfection

10% bleach

Inactivation

Steam Autoclave 1 hr 121C

Survival Outside Host

Does survive outside the host.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Minimum PPE Requirements Lab coat/scrub Gloves Eye protection when working outside the biosafety cabinet or a chemical fume hood. Avoid contact with skin and eyes. Avoid formation of dust and aerosols. Provide appropriate exhaust ventilation at places where dust is formed. Additional PPE may be required depending on lab specific SOPs.
Additional Precautions Use a biological safety cabinet (BSC) or a chemical fume hood for resuspension of the biological toxin or manipulations of stock solutions of toxins that can generate aerosols, such as pipetting, harvesting, infecting cells, filling tubes/containers, and opening sealed centrifuge canisters.

Waste Management

Solid Waste Materials that are potentially contaminated with toxins shall be disposed of as biohazardous waste and sharps must be disposed of in a sharps container.

PDF (Full Document)

BARS PDF
Click the icon to download the PDF version of this BARS.