Gas Gangrene


Common clostridial species causing gas gangrene:

  • Clostridium perfringens
    • Most commonly identified organism.
      • Gram-positive anaerobic rod [Fig 1]
    • Produces > 20 exotoxins, including lethal Alpha and Beta toxins that cause necrosis and hemolysis.
    • Also an agent of food poisoning.
  • Clostridium novyi
  • Clostridium septicum
  • Clostridium histolyticum
  • Clostridium sordellii (seen with toxic shock after childbirth, users of contaminated heroin injections and patients with malignancy)
    • A review of spontaneous C. sordelli-associated gas gangrene found that known or occult malignancy was seen in 71% of the 94 patients in the literature; overall mortality was 67%[6].

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Last updated: May 8, 2023