Clostridium tetani (Tetanus)
- Clostridium tetani is a Gram-positive bacillus, obligate anaerobe.
- If culture enters the endospore stage, it may have classic tennis racquet morphology [Fig 1].
- Spores are widespread in soil and animal feces.
- The rod-shaped appearance on a Gram stain is often likened to drumsticks or tennis rackets.
- Toxin, tetanospasmin, causes tetanus: unopposed muscle spasm and contraction due to interference of toxin with neurotransmitters (including GABA and glycine).
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