Clostridium Summary


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C. perfringens (see WebLinked image; see WebLinked image) (see WebLinked site)

C. botulinum (see WebLinked site)

C. tetani (see WebLinked image) (see WebLinked site)

C. dificile pseudomembranous colitis (see WebLinked image; see WebLinked image)


Clostridium spp. Anaerobic Gram-Positive Spore-Forming Bacilli

Four broad types of pathogenesis:

1. Histotoxic group --- tissue infections

( C. perfringens type A; exogenously-acquired more commonly than endogenously)

( C. septicum; endogenously-acquired)

a. cellulitis

b. myonecrosis

c. gas gangrene

d. fasciitis

2. Enterotoxigenic group --- gastrointestinal disease

a. clostridial foodborne disease (8-24 h after ingestion of large numbers of organisms on con- taminated meat products, spores germinate, enterotoxin produced ( C. perfringens type A)

b. necrotizing enteritis (beta toxin-producing C. perfringens type C)

( C. difficile endogenously-acquired or exogenously-acquired person-to-person in hospital)

c. antibiotic-associated diarrhea

d. antibiotic-associated pseudomembranous colitis

3. Tetanus (exogenously acquired) --- C. tetani neurotoxin

a. generalized (most common)

b. cephalic (primary infection in head, commonly ear)

c. localized

d. neonatal (contaminated umbilical stump)

4. Botulism (exogenously acquired) --- C. botulinum neurotoxin

a. foodborne (intoxication, 1-2 days incubation period)

b. infant (ingestion of spores in honey)

c. wound (symptoms similar to foodborne, but 4 or more days incubation)

Clostridium perfringens --- histotoxic or enterotoxigenic infections

Morphology and Physiology

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