OTHER CLOSTRIDIAL INFECTIONS
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Microbiology and Pathogenesis
Clostridia are pleomorphic, gram-positive, spore-forming organisms. Most species are obligate anaerobes; some (e.g., C. septicum, C. tertium) can grow—but not sporulate—in air.
- In humans, clostridia reside in the GI and female genital tracts and on the oral mucosa.
- Clostridial species produce more protein toxins than any other bacterial genus; the C. perfringens epsilon toxin is among the most lethal and is considered a potential agent of bioterrorism.