Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Clostridia spp

Synonym(s): Clostridia, Clostridium

Contributor(s): Richard Walker

Introduction

Classification

Taxonomy

  • Genus: Clostridium.
  • Family: Clostridiaceae.

Etymology

  • Gk: Clostridium: closter - 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, eg Clostridium botulinum Clostridium botulinum.
    • Histotoxic - produce less potent toxins and are invasive, eg Clostridium perfringens type A.
    • Enterotoxic - toxins are absorbed from the gut, eg Clostridium perfringens types A-E Clostridium perfringens.
    • Produce enteric disease. In some host species, this is a consequence of antibiotic use, eg Clostridium difficile Clostridium difficile.

Other Host Effects

  • Many Clostridium spp are commensals, especially in the gastrointestinal tract.

Control

Control via animal

Diagnosis

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from VetMed Resource and PubMed.
  • Weese J S et al (2001) The roles of Clostridium difficile and enterotoxigenic Clostridium perfringens in diarrhea in dogs. JVIM 15(4), 374-378.
  • Jang S S, Breher J E, Dabaco L A & Hirsh D C (1997) Organisms isolated from dogs and cats with anaerobic infections and susceptibility to selected antimicrobial agents. JAVMA 210(11), 1610-1614.
  • Thomson M J & Eger C E (1997) Management of a femoral fracture complicated by clostridial myositis. JSAP 38(2), 70-3.
  • McDonough P L & Simpson K W (1996) Diagnosing emerging bacterial infections - salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis, clostridial toxicosis, and helicobacteriosis. Semin Vet Med Surg 11(3), 187-97.
  • Rutgers H C, Batt R M, Elwood C M & Lamport A (1995) Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth in dogs with chronic intestinal disease. JAVMA 206(2), 187-93.

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