Clostridium tetani as a pathogenic organism

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Review Paper 01/04/2019
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Clostridium tetani as a pathogenic organism

Nasir Ahmed Rind, Muhammad Kamran Taj, ImranTaj, Saadullah Jan, Syeda Ayesha Ali, Ghulam Mohammad, Ashiq Hussain, Mohammad Ali, Majid Rafeeq, Umbreen Zafar, Saeed Ahmed Essote, Ajaz-ul-Haq, Zohra Samreen
Int. J. Biosci.14( 4), 207-213, April 2019.
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Clostridium tetani, the etiologic agent of tetanus, produces a toxin that causes spastic paralysis in humans and other vertebrates. Clostridium tetani releases two toxins tetanolysin and tetanospasmin at the wound site. The tetanolysin is a hemolysin, which is not known to contribute toward tetanus symptoms; however the tatanospasmin affects the central nervous. The autonomic nervous system is also affected by the tetanus toxin, causing cardiac arrhythmias, severe sweating, and labile blood pressure. This is extremely difficult to manage and is a common cause of sudden death. As a consequence catecholamine levels are high and this may contribute to the high incidence of acute renal dysfunction seen in severe tetanus. Clostridium tetani is mostly acquiring resistance to antibiotics because of its lower outer membrane permeability. Treatment of Clostridium tetani causing infections or disease becomes a challenge for biological world. This bacterium shows resistance against many antibiotics due to mutations in their genes and due to some modifying enzymes. Treatment goals include interrupting the production of toxin, neutralizating the unbound toxin, controlling muscle spasms, managing dysautonomia and appropriate supportive management. Specific therapy includes intramuscular administration of tetanus immunoglobulin to neutralize circulating toxin before it binds to neuronal cell membranes. The disease can be prevented by immunization with tetanal toxoid and appropriate wound care.


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