Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

Clostridial toxins: potent poisons, potent medicines

Baldassi, L.

Clostridium is an anaerobic bacterial genus. The clostridia produce more protein toxins than any other bacterial genus and are a rich reservoir of toxins for research and medicinal uses. Clostridia are widely spread in the environment: soil, dust and water, presenting more than 120 described species, although few can cause diseases. Diseases can grossly be divided into neurotropic disorders (nervous system is primarily affected), enterotoxemias (affecting intestinal tract and parenchymatous organs), and gas gangrene (myonecrosis with toxemia). Undoubtedly the most widely recognized infection due to anaerobes was clostridial myonecrosis, but recently interest has arisen for the role of clostridia in intestinal diseases. This report describes the most important species, the diseases caused by them, and their occurrence in Brazil, focusing on cattle raising.

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