The genus clostridium is an anaerobic, Gram-positive, spore-forming rod bacterium
, which lives in dust, soil, vegetation and the intestinal tract of humans and other animals. This rare bacterium produces toxins that damage tissue and the nervous system. Clostridium may cause inflammation that destroys the wall of the large and small intestine.
The four clinically important species of the genus Clostridium are C. tetani, the bacterium that causes tetanus, or lockjaw, C. difficile, a bacterium linked to nosocomial
antibiotic-associated colitis, C. perfringens, contracted from dirt via large cuts and wounds
, and C. botulinum, the bacterium that causes botulism.
Severe illness may result from clostridial infections
and the risk of death is high. The elderly and cancer
victims are most susceptible to these types of infections.
- Harmful Bacteria & Fungus: Overview