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2288 pages added, reviewed or updated during the last month (last updated: 19/4/2021)


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Clostridium perfringens

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Clostridium perfringens is one species of the genus Clostridia. Classically, it is the prime organism that produces Clostridial myonecrosis - gas gangrene. However, it may also produce food poisoning.

Morphologically, it is a Gram-positive rod. It forms spores which are oval. Frequently, spores are sited in the sub-terminal or central part of the bacillus. C. perfringens is a non-motile organism.

C. perfringens grows in strictly anaerobic conditions. It produces haemolysis of blood agar at 37 degrees centigrade. Colonies are round with smooth edges.

It has a variety of pathogenic factors:

  • alpha-toxin:
    • one of five lecithinases produced
    • lyses membrane phospholipids to release phosphoryl choline, so causing cell lysis
    • the basis of the Nagler test
  • collagenase
  • hyaluronidase
  • a variety of haemolysins

Generally, it is sensitive to penicillin and metronidazole.

Last reviewed 01/2018

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