I came across these lines from this paper:

Pathogenic microbes exert a broader sphere of influence by releasing a bolus of toxin that can act upon many cells within a given tissue and/or diffuse away to modulate one or more types of cells at multiple locations within the host.

What does this line mean? Does it mean that the pathogen releases multiple types of toxins or does it mean that the pathogen releases just one type of toxin in a large quantity?

  • $\begingroup$ bolus: MEDICINE - a single dose of a drug or other medicinal preparation given all at once. $\endgroup$
    – MattDMo
    Jun 7 '16 at 19:58
  • $\begingroup$ @MattDMo I want to know what the sentence mean from the view of the pathogen $\endgroup$
    – girl101
    Jun 8 '16 at 4:04

As I commented, a bolus is a single (often large) dose of a drug or compound given (released) all at once. Please read the very next sentence after the one you quoted:

For example, the lethal and edema toxins of Bacillus anthracis disseminate within the host bloodstream and act upon both immune and nonimmune cells.

This gives an example of a pathogen releasing multiple toxins, although there are other pathogens such as Clostridium tetani which release a bolus that consists of only one toxin. So, it can be one or the other.


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