Ricin is a biological toxin which can be extracted from the castor bean plant. The scientific name of this plant is Ricinus communis. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has categorized ricin to be a category B agent. Exposure to ricin can occur by oral ingestion, inhalation or parenteral administration. The severity of symptoms of ricin toxicity is dependent on the route of exposure and the dose of ricin. Diagnosis is based on epidemiological and clinical parameters. Currently no antidote, vaccine or specific therapy is available for ricin poisoning. Treatment of ricin toxicity is largely symptomatic and supportive in nature. The treatment should be prompt and meticulous to limit mortality.
Biological toxin, Castor beans, Ricin poisoning