clostridium


clostridium
clostridial, clostridian, adj.
/klo strid"ee euhm/, n., pl. clostridia /klo strid"ee euh/. Bacteriol.
any of several rod-shaped, spore-forming, anaerobic bacteria of the genus Clostridium, found in soil and in the intestinal tract of humans and animals.
[1880-85; < NL < Gk klostr-, var. s. of klostér spindle (klos-, var. s. of klóthein (see CLOTHO) + -ter agent suffix) + NL -idium -IDIUM]

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Any of the rod-shaped, usually gram-positive bacteria (see gram stain) that make up the genus Clostridium.

They are found in soil, water, and the intestinal tracts of humans and other animals. Some species grow only in the complete absence of oxygen. Dormant cells are highly resistant to heat, drying, toxic chemicals, and detergents. The toxins produced by C. botulinum, which causes botulism, are the strongest poisons known. The toxin of C. tetani causes tetanus; other species can cause gangrene.

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      genus of rod-shaped, usually gram-positive bacteria, members of which are found in soil, water, and the intestinal tracts of humans and other animals. Most species grow only in the complete absence of oxygen. Dormant cells are highly resistant to heat, dessication, and toxic chemicals and detergents. The species are variable in size. A typical species, C. butyricum, ranges from 0.6 micrometres across by 3 to 7 micrometres long. The toxins produced by C. botulinum, the causative agent of botulism (q.v.), are the most potent poisons known. The toxin of C. tetani causes tetanus (q.v.) when introduced into damaged or dead tissue. C. perfringens, C. novyi, and C. septicum can cause gangrene in humans. Other forms of acute clostridial infection commonly occur in livestock and waterfowl.

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