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Clostridium spp.

  • Douglas I. Johnson
Chapter

Abstract

  • Genomics:
    • Clostridium botulinum A strain Hall chromosome: 3,886,916 bp; 3650 predicted ORFs (Sebaihia et al. 2007)

    • Clostridium difficile chromosome: 4,290,252 bp; 3776 predicted ORFs (Sebaihia et al. 2006)

    • Clostridium perfringens chromosome: 3,031,430 bp; 2660 predicted ORFs (Shimizu et al. 2002)

    • Clostridium septicum chromosome: 3,266,706 bp; 3125 predicted ORFs (Benamar et al. 2016)

    • Clostridium sordellii chromosome: 3,571,992 bp; 3586 predicted ORFs (Scaria et al. 2015)

    • Clostridium tetani chromosome – 2,799,250 bp; 2372 predicted ORFs (Bruggemann et al. 2003):
      • Plasmid: 74,082 bp; 61 predicted ORFs; encodes the tetanus toxin

  • Cell morphology:
    • Rod-shaped cells (Fig. 3.1)

    • Endospore formers: terminal or subterminal endospores; swollen sporangium gives cells a “drumstick” appearance

    • Flagella – most species have peritrichous flagella including C. botulinum, C. difficile, C. septicum, C. sordellii, and C. tetani:
      • C. perfringens does not have flagella.

      • The role of Clostridia flagella in virulence is unclear; may play a role in binding to host mucus.

  • Gram stain:
    • Gram positive; older cells tend to stain Gram negative

  • Growth:
    • Obligate anaerobes (vs. aerobic Bacillus spp.)

    • Ubiquitous environmental pathogens; found primarily in soil in endospore form

    • Biofilm formation (Pantaleon et al. 2014):
      • Seventy one Clostridium species can form either mono-species or multi-species biofilms.

      • Nine species have the ability to form mono-species biofilms, including the pathogens C. difficile and C. perfringens (see below).

    • At least 100 species; most are not associated with human disease:
      • Notable human pathogens: C. botulinum, C. difficile, C. perfringens, C. septicum, C. sordellii, and C. tetani

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Douglas I. Johnson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology & Molecular GeneticsUniversity of VermontBurlingtonUSA

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