Clostridium Sporogenes: Symptoms & Treatment

Instructor: Brekke Peterson Munks
Have you ever contracted Clostridium sporogenes? How would you know if you did? Is it treatable? Do humans even contract it? In this lesson, you will learn the answers to all of these questions, and be able to identify symptoms and possible treatment options.

What is Clostridium sporogenes?

Have you heard of Clostridium sporogenes? It sounds like an alien that only lives on the outer rim of the universe! In fact, it is a microbe that lives right here on earth. This microbe is a bacterium that is soil born and can be found in the intestines of animals.

Clostridium sporogenes, or C. sporogenes for short, is a Gram-positive bacteria. What is that you might ask? A Gram-positive bacterium is one that stains violet in color during a Gram stain test. This means that it has a very thick outer cell wall made up of peptidoglycan, which is a sugar structure that creates a protective layer around the bacteria to keep is safe from attack.

Defining Characteristics

There are many Clostridium genus' out in the world. C. sporogenes is very similar to Clostridium botulinum, which you might have heard of on the T.V. or in the news (aka botulism). This Clostridium produces a toxin, which affects the nervous system, and can result in death. It is the reason many people are afraid to preserve food in jars because you cannot see or smell this bacteria. Like C. botulinum, C. sporogenes is rod-shaped and produces round shaped endospores. An endospore is a structure that is encapsulated and highly dormant that the bacterium creates to allow it to survive harmful conditions. Additionally, this bacteria is anaerobic, it does not require oxygen.

The important difference between the two types of Clostridium is that C. sporogenes does not produce the botulinum toxin. Therefore, C. sporogenes is the same bacteria as C. botulinum in all other respects except, it doesn't have toxic effects.

C. botulinum, a Gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria, similar to C. sporogenes, but produces the botulinum toxin.
C. botulinum

Symptoms

Since C. sporogenes is found in the intestines, infections typically cause gas gangrene. Gas gangrene results when the C. sporogenes produces gas in tissues of humans or animals that causes the tissue to die. The most common symptom of gas gangrene is swelling around an open wound or puncture area as a result of a car crash or other trauma. Other symptoms include:

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