Slideshows Images Quizzes

Copyright © 2018 by RxList Inc. RxList does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See additional information.

Definition of Clostridium

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Clostridium: A group of anaerobic bacteria (bacteria that thrive in the absence of oxygen). There are 100+ species of Clostridium. They include, for examples, Clostridium difficile, Clostridium perfringens (also called Clostridium welchii), and Clostridium botulinum.

Clostridium difficile is one of the most common causes of infection of the large bowel (the colon) in the US affecting millions of people yearly. Patients taking antibiotics are at risk of becoming infected with C. difficile. Antibiotics disrupt the normal bacteria of the bowel, allowing C. difficile bacteria to become established in the colon. Many persons infected with C.difficile have no symptoms. These people become carriers of the bacteria and can infect others. In other people, a toxin produced by C. difficile causes diarrhea, abdominal pain, severe inflammation of the colon (colitis), fever, an elevated white blood count, vomiting and dehydration. In severely affected patients, the inner lining of the colon becomes severely inflamed (a condition called pseudomembranous colitis). Rarely, the walls of the colon wear away and holes develop (colon perforation), which can lead to a life-threatening infection of the abdomen.

Clostridium perfringens, also known as Clostridium welchii), this is the most common agent of gas gangrene and also causes food poisoning as well as a fulminant form of bowel disease called necrotizing colitis.

Clostridium botulinum is the culprit responsible for the food poisoning and other problems associated with botulism.

QUESTION

The abbreviated term ADHD denotes the condition commonly known as: See Answer
Reviewed on 12/27/2018

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors