Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Clostridia spp

Synonym(s): Clostridia Clostridium

Contributor(s): Susan Dawson, Richard Walker

Introduction

Classification

Taxonomy

  • Family: Bacillaceae.
  • Genus:Clostridium.

Etymology

  • Gk:kloster- a spindle.

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Clinical Effects

Epidemiology

Habitat

  • Commensals in gastrointestinal tract.
  • Saprophytic in soil.
  • Most species are found in the environment and the gastrointestinal tract of animals.

Lifecycle

  • Reproduce using endospores.
  • Spores germinate in anaerobic environments.
  • Strictness of the anaerobic requirement varies with species.

Transmission

  • May be exogenous or endogenous.

Pathological effects

  • Immunity usually depends on the production of antitoxins.
  • Infection may be endogenous from the host's gut or exogenous from the environment.
  • Pathogenic species can be divided into 4 groups:
    • Neurotropic- produce potent neurotoxins, egClostridium botulinum  Clostridium botulinum  , the cause of botulism   Botulism  , andClostridium tetani  Clostridium tetani  , the cause of tetanus   Tetanus  .
    • Histotoxic- produce less potent toxins and are invasive, egClostridium perfringenstype A   Clostridium perfringens  .
    • Enterotoxic- toxins are absorbed from the gut, egClostridium perfringens  Clostridium perfringens  types A-E.
    • Produce enteric disease- in some host species, this is a consequence of antibiotic use, egClostridium difficile.

Other Host Effects

  • ManyClostridiumspp are commensals, especially in the gastrointestinal tract.

Control

Control via animal

Diagnosis

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references fromPubMed.
  • McDonough P L and Simpson K W (1996)Diagnosing emerging bacterial inections - salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, clostridial toxicosis and helicobacteriosis.Semin Vet Med Surg11(3), 187-197PubMed.
  • Moore R M (1993)Pathogenesis of obligate anaerobic bacterial infections in horses.Comp Cont Educ Prac Vet15(2), 278-287.

Other sources of information

  • Biberstein E L (1990)The Clostridia.In:Review of Veterinary Microbiology.Eds: E L Biberstein & Y C Zee. Boston: Blackwell Scientific. pp.295-310. ISBN: 0 86542 085 8.

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