Difference Between Vaccine and Toxoid

Pathogens have become so prevalent and pervasive that they can always put our lives in danger. Due to the exposed environment, they come up with different mutations and try to evade the safety mechanism that we call the immune. We human beings have come up with numerous ways to counter the ever-growing and ever-mutating pathogens. But the different types of safety mechanisms depend on the way they are made and the effects that they produce.

Vaccine vs Toxoid

The main difference between vaccine and toxoid is that vaccines are made using dead, weakened, toxic substances secreted by pathogens, or synthetic organisms that cause the illness whereas toxoid is made from the toxins secreted by bacteria which are treated with some chemical or go through a pyrogenic treatment. The chemical and heat treatment of toxins gives toxins a lower profile and but leaves their immunogenicity intact. So, by definition toxoids are a type of vaccine.

Vaccine vs

Vaccines help our body to get an active immune capable of protecting us against any type of pathogens that can be a threat to our lives. There are various types of vaccines based on the process the methodology used to prepare them. If the vaccine is made by the dead pathogen then it is called an inactivated vaccine. mRNA vaccines have emerged as a saver against the COVID-19 virus which is another type of vaccine. Vaccines can be categorized on the basis of their use e.g.; therapeutic vaccines are those that help fight an ill person.

Toxoid being one of the types of vaccine differs from other forms of vaccines because of the method employed to make them. It can be made using some toxic substance made by the pathogen that causes illness. Instead of targeting the entire germ they only produce immunity against the causing factor. To treat tetanus toxoid vaccine is used which is popularly known to people as a tetanus vaccine. It is made from the toxins produced by c. tetani a bacterium.

Comparison Table Between Vaccine and Toxoid

Parameter of Comparison Vaccine Toxoid 
 TypeVaccines are of many types based on the method employed to produce them.  Toxoids are only one type based on the process involved in manufacturing them.
 ConstituentIt may be made from living, dead, or any produce of the pathogen.It is made from only the toxic products of the pathogen.
 TargetTarget depends on the type of vaccine. The target is the toxins produced by the pathogen. 
 Agent  The agent used to make vaccines could be live or dead.The agent used to make toxoids is a neutralized toxic substance.
 DefinitionAny substance that is administered to give an immune response.  A substance that is administered to act against the toxic produced by the pathogen.

What is Vaccine?

Vaccines are just like teachers that teach our immune system to fight against different pathogens that affect our normal body function. It achieves its objective by producing an immune response against the germ that causes a malfunction in our normal body. It can be made using various methods and depending on the method employed it can have varying effects on the pathogens and the body. Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine for covid-19 is one example.

Vaccines are just like teachers that teach our immune system to fight against different pathogens that affect our normal body function. It achieves its objective by producing an immune response against the germ that causes a malfunction in our normal body. It can be made using various methods and depending on the method employed it can have varying effects on the pathogens and the body.

Other forms are mRNA vaccines, which make proteins to protect against diseases, viral vector vaccines, toxoid vaccines, etc. All these vaccines are made using a different methodology to produce immunity against germs. The vaccines that use RNA, DNA, or viral vector are called genetic vaccines.

Based on the number of strains of the same germ that vaccines provide protection against they can be categorized into two parts monovalent and multivalent. Monovalent vaccines provide protection against only one but multivalent vaccines can provide protection against multiple strains related to the same microorganism.

What is Toxoid?

Toxoids are a form of vaccine which is made from the toxic substance produced by the microorganism that causes the illness. It only targets the toxic substance but not the pathogen which differentiates it from other types of vaccines that may target entire microorganisms.

The toxic substance used to make it is inactive but carries immunogenicity and other properties. Interestingly not all toxoids are used against microorganisms some are used for other purposes as well, for example, Crotalus Atrox is used for dogs to cure rattlesnake bites.

The treatment of toxic substances to make them suitable for use is generally chemical or pyrogenic in nature. It makes the toxicity of the substance fade but other vital properties remain the same. The altered form of the toxic is called toxoid and when administered it generates a memory against the toxic substance without causing any related illness.

Toxoids are called vaccines because they have the ability to produce immunity against the toxic substance that causes illness. Toxoids are also used to develop human antitoxins. In many plasma centers in the USA, multiple dosages of tetanus vaccine are used to produce highly effective immunity against tetanus which in turn produces globulins that have the capability to kill tetanus.

Main Differences Between Vaccine and Toxoid

  1. Vaccines are of different types depending on the method employed to make them whereas toxoids are only one type based on the method used to make them.
  2. Vaccines can have live pathogens in them whereas in toxoids only the deactivated toxic is present.
  3. Vaccines may attack the entire germ but toxoids only target the toxic produced by the pathogen.
  4. Vaccines can be genetic in nature example being mRNA vaccines, DNA vaccines but toxoids can only be based on the altered form of the toxic substance produced by the pathogen.
  5. The target of a vaccine correlates to their type but for toxoid, the case is different as it only targets the toxic substance and hence the target is unique.

Conclusion

Vaccines and toxoids are both immune-activating agents that protect our bodies against a particular pathogen. But due to the same property, these terms are misunderstood. Toxoid is a type of vaccine as it produces an immune response against the toxins produced by the pathogens. It is produced by some alteration made to the toxic substance and it is not directly produced by the pathogen. Toxoids are also used to cure other forms of infections such as rattlesnake bites in dogs.

Vaccines on the other hand can be of various types which are attributed to the method applied to form them. There are several classifications made for vaccines based on different criteria. On the basis of the use of material to make them and the condition under which they are used, they can be classified into several categories mRNA vaccine, DNA vaccine, therapeutic vaccine are a few examples. It can also be classified on the basis of the number of strains it targets of the same pathogen.

References

  1. https://stacks.cdc.gov/view/cdc/7420
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/pmc2047731/
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1525001604013425
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0264410X9290021B

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