Nonfoodborne Clostridial Diseases
Diseases produced by Clostridium species are infectious but not contagious. With the exception of human infections caused by animal bites, there is no evidence that direct transmission occurs between animals and human beings. Clostridium botulinum and Clostridium perfringens frequently have been associated with foodborne intoxications. A large number of other clostridial species have been incriminated as primary or secondary invaders in soft-tissue infections and intoxications. Gas gangrene is an acute, rapidly progressive, highly fatal, necrotizing infection of musculature and surrounding tissues caused by invasion and subsequent elaboration of toxins by one or more species of Clostridium. Synonyms for the disease include gas infection, gas phlegmon, clostridial myositis, histotoxic clostridial infection, and anaerobic myonecrosis. Clostridia may enter the animal body in spore or vegetative form through ingestion, inhalation, or wound contamination. Spores of some clostridial species enter the bloodstream from the intestine and become sequestered in organs and tissues.