Clostridium Tetani: Tetanus
Type: Gram positive, Spore producing, Motile (has a flagella), obligate anaerobe

Structure/Growth: Sores are produced under anaerobic conditions

Symptoms: clenching of the jaw, extreme arching of the back, clenching of facial muscles, paralysis of respiratory muscles which can lead to death.

Spread via: Applying mud, dung, or ashes o bleeding areas during cultural rituals. In modern countries Tetanus invades the body via punchers, wounds, cuts, etc.

Two states of existence
Vegetative state:
Releases tetanospasmin into the infection site which then absorbed by motor nerve endings. it then travels to the spinal cord and block the release of near transmitters.
The muscle contractions starts and without the proper medical attention may have permanent damage to muscles.

Spore state:
This state is not potent enough to cause infection.

Prevention: Those already diagnosed with tetanus get the TIG therapy, which stops further damage and spread. Some times the infected tissue has to be removed. In america the vaccine is given to children and requires booster shots. Pregnant women are advised to take the vaccine again to avoid neonatal tetanus.

(Image borrowed from: http://textbookofbacteriology.net/themicrobialworld/Tetanus.html)

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  • 02 August 2012
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