Notes on Clostridium

  >   Rahul's Noteblog   >   Notes on Bacteriology   >   Notes on Clostridium

Genus: Clostridium.

• Gram-positive, spore-forming, anaerobic rod.

• Found in soil; vegetative cells live in anaerobic organisms.

• Their spores can withstand extreme climate.

• Vegetative cells can arise from soil and can cause diseases like tetanus (by Clostridium tetani) and gas gangrene (by Clostridium perfringes), and botulism (by Clostridium botulinum).

• Are normal inhabitants of intestines of humans and other animals.

Clostridium tetani.

• Soil.

• Spread by puncture wounds.

• Produces tetanus toxin.


• Tetanus.

Tetanus toxin:

• Blocks inhibitory transmitters glycine and GABA; binds to ganglioside receptors.


• Hyperimmune human globulin (TIG) with metronidazole or penicillin; and spasmolytic drugs (diazepam).


• DTaP, DTP, or Td.

Clostridium botulinum.

• Gram + spore-forming, anaerobic rod.

• Found in soil/dust.

Botulinum toxin:

• A-B polypeptide neurotoxin.

• Absorbed by gut; blocks release of ACh causing flaccid paralysis.

• Three types: adult/food borne (poorly canned vegetables), infant (honey), and wound (traumatic implantation of spores).

Clostridium perfringens.

• Anaerobic, Gram + spore forming rod; stormy fermentation on milk media.

• Double zone of beta-hemolysis.

• Found in soil and human colon.


• Alpha toxin: lecithinase; massive hemolysis, tissue destruction, and hepatic toxicity.

• Nageler's reaction +: identifies alpha toxin.

• Enterotoxin: water diarrhea, and cramps.


• Gas gangrene (myonecrosis): pain, fever, tachycardia, debridement. Rapid high mortality.

• Food poisoning: reheated meat dishes; enterotoxin.

Clostridium difficile.

• Antibiotic associated diarrhea, colitis, or pseudomembranous colitis.


• A: enterotoxin damaging mucosa leading to fluid increase, and attracting granulocytes.

• B: cytotoxin: cell toxin.


• Metronidazole (vancomycin).

Additional Readings:

Basic Bacteriology

1. Bacterial Locations and Toxins
2. Growth Medias and Oxygen Requirements
3. Staphylococus
4. Streptococcus
5. Enterococcus
6. Bacillus
7. Listeria
8. Corynebacterium
9. Actinomyces
10. Nocadria
11. Mycobacterium
12. Clostridium
13. Neisseria
14. Pseudomonas
15. Legionella
16. Bordetella
17. Francisella
18. Brucella
19. Campylobacter
20. Escherichia
21. Shigella
22. Klebsiella
23. Salmonella
24. Yersinia
25. Proteus
26. Vibrio
27. Pasteurella
28. Haemophilus
29. Bacteriodes and Prevotella
30. Treponema
31. Borrelia
32. Rickettsia
33. Coxiella
34. Ehrlichia
35. Chlamydia
36. Mycoplasma
37. What is an ELEK's Test?
38. Causes of Orchitis
39. What is Leprosy?
40. What is Folliculitis?
41. What is Botulism?
42. How to interpret PPD (Purified Protein Derivative) results?
43. Prenatal Infections

Related Topics

1. Bacterial vs viral infections

Medical Images

Useful Medical Images & Diagrams (link opens in a new window)

Random Pages:

Life in a Drop of Water Review of Delta Roma Imperiale Fountain Pen
Video of me playing Unknown Easy Blues Piano Notes on Female Reproductive System
Notes on Osteology of Pectoral Region Notes on Prenatal Infections
Notes on Pyruvate Metabolism Notes on Hypothesis Testing
Differentiation of the Face Digestion FAQ, Defecation reflex, etc.
Notes on Basic Gastrointestinal Physiology Why I Support Mercy Killing
Notes on Osteogenesis What is an ELEK`s Test?
Why did I decide to become a doctor? Medical School Admissions Essay Video: Titanic Piano Theme: The Portrait
Corporate Failure: The Enron Case My Experience during the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait
USMLE Blood Lab Values Regulation of Heart Rate by Autonomic Nervous System
Images of Antibodies Video of me playing Hagood Hardy`s "The Homecoming"
Notes on Respiratory System Differentiation and Anatomy of a Blastocyst
Notes on Cell Components Notes on Nervous Tissue
Voices from Hell: My Experience in Mussoorie, India Video of Cardiology Examination in a Clinical Setting

Please Do Not Reproduce This Page

This page is written by Rahul Gladwin. Please do not duplicate the contents of this page in whole or part, in any form, without prior written permission.