Editor: John W. Cherwonogrodzky

Ricin Toxin

Special Offer (PDF + Printed Copy): US $119
Printed Copy: US $119
ISBN: 978-1-60805-879-2 (Print)
ISBN: 978-1-60805-878-5 (Online)
Year of Publication: 2014
DOI: 10.2174/97816080587851140101


`Ricin Toxin’ brings together a collection of in depth and cutting edge reviews that focus on the current understanding of ricin toxins. This e-book provides a historical background, innovations in detection, identification and medical countermeasures against this biothreat, and the toxin’s previous use as an anti-cancer agent.

This e-book answers various important questions such as detection of ricin in food or soil, making of humanized antibody against the toxin, novel approaches for the creation of a safe vaccine to protect first responders, exploitation of toxin`s ability to bind and penetrate cells for medical benefits, aftereffects of administering antibody against ricin to a first responder and their exposure to the toxin, neutralization of different ricin from different castor plant cultivars. Aside from learning key concepts that may be overlooked while scanning literature, the reader will benefit from gems of information scattered throughout the book.

The book comprises of five different parts. The first part covers the background of ricin from pharaohs to bioterrorists and beyond.

The second part covers the discovery of recent technologies which are very helpful for the detection of ricin in different matrices, followed by the detection of ricin in the sorption of soils, minerals,textiles, and food; soil inflatration and dust transport. The third part covers the ricin and castor plant cultivars. It also discusses the antibody therapies such as Polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies and the extraction of ricin toxin from several cultivars of the Castor Plant (Ricinus communis).

The fourth part of this e-book discusses different medical countermeasures which are very effective in enhancing the progress in the development of vaccines against ricin intoxication. This part also describes different methods employed for the improvement of anti-ricin antibodies.

The last part of this book describes the replacement and different applications of the toxin. All chapters are written by paramount experts in ricin research.

`Ricin Toxin’ is an essential reading to all medical students, biochemists and professionals involved in the field of toxicology.

Indexed in: Book Citation Index, Science Edition, BIOSIS Previews, EBSCO.


From pre-historic coated spear tips to a modified umbrella and beyond, ricin toxin from the castor plant has been used as a biological weapon by and against humans for millenia. It is a highly toxic, potentially-fatal threat not only to military but also civilian personnel, both through accidental exposure (e.g. ingestion) and terrorist-/state-sponsored intentional release. Ways to detect and treat toxin exposure are essential in protecting a population and form the basis of this book.

Here, Dr. John W. Cherwonogrodzky presents contributions of world experts to provide a text which covers the historic use of ricin, its detection and opportunities for intervention. This volume details recent advances in the development of various approaches to neutralise the toxin as well as highlighting further lines of investigation.

The reader is encouraged to broaden his/her understanding and appreciation for the ability of innovative researchers that have used the toxin to exploit our own cellular machinery to cause damage, and similarly, our ability to exploit the characteristics of ricin, to develop treatment strategies and even modify it to target cancer cells. Accordingly, the book serves as a good resource for toxin researchers, with a wider appeal to those studying cell and cancer biology, medicinal and protein chemistry and vaccine development. The book is informative without being overwhelming, provides a few key contributions to a few key topics, and will likely be worthwhile for reader to learn how far progress has reached against the toxin threat.

Damien C. Chong
Medical Countermeasures
Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO)