Topics: Tetanus, Clostridium tetani, Muscle Pages: 6 (2088 words) Published: December 5, 2012
Bio 210 Vanlinluck|
Cong Le|

Abstract: Tetanus is a severe infection causes by Clostridium tetani, a spore-forming anaerobic bacterium. This disease affects many people in the developing-countries where the immunization is not really available. On the other hand, tetanus is very rare condition in developed countries like America. Clostridium tetani has all the characteristics of the Clostridium genus. After entering the human wounds, this organism secreted two kinds of potent biological exotoxin: tetanolysin and tetanospasmin. However, only tetanospasmin is the infectious agent which causes the tetanus. Because of the two specific chains, tetanospasmin is very dangerous when this toxin is introduced into blood and traveled around the nervous system. When tetanospasmins bind to the neurons, it is very hard for treatments and may damage the affected neurons. Symptoms related to this disease are very distinct. The first signs of tetanus are usually facial muscle spasms, difficulty swallowing, and trimus or “lockjaw”. Based on the affected muscle groups, the tetanus is divided into four different types: generalized, neonatal, local, and cephalic tetanus. Treatments for tetanus may include medicine, surgical removal, and sportive treatment. Tetanus may cause compliments such disability or death. In USA, two kinds of immunization are available nationwide are DTaP vaccine and Td vaccine.|


Tetanus is a bacterial disease caused by Clostridium tetani. Usually known as lockjaw, tetanus affects the nervous system, leading to painful muscle contractions, especially of your neck and jaw muscles. Tetanus is come from tetanos, which means to sketch in Greek. Tetanus was successfully discovered in 1884 by Carle and Rattone. In 1889, Kitasato isolated the organism and showed that it produced disease when injected into animals. With the help of immunization, the incidence of tetanus in well-developed countries nowadays is very low. However, the infected cases by tetanus in developing countries have a much higher percentage. Throughout this research, we will discuss about the characteristics, pathophysiology, symptoms, types, compliment, treatments, and preventions of tetanus.

Tetanus is cause by virus C. tetani. C. tetani is a motile, gram positive rod, strictly anaerobic bacilli, none-capsulated, and forms spores. This organism is sensitive to heat while their spores are very resistant to heat and usual antiseptics. The spores are usually found in soil, dust, and animal fences (1).

As just being mentioned above, C. tetani is an obligate anaerobic gram-positive bacillus. Plus, in human wounds, numerous dead tissues which do not contain oxygen are the perfect medium for C. tetani to grow within. When C. tetani under spore form enters body through injured wounds, they can persist for months until the right conditions are met. Then, the spore will germinate back into vegetative body and produce two kinds of exotoxins: tetanolysin and tetanospasmin(2).

To start with the pathophysiology of the tetanus, distinct characteristics of two kinds of the exotoxins secreted by the C. tetani should be made. Tetanolysin is believed not contain any infectious ability to human. On the other hand, tetanospasm is responsible for tetanus by interfering with transformation excited signals at the myoneural junctions and the neural-neural junctions in the spinal cord. Structurally, tetanospasmin is a 150-kDa peptide made out of a heavy chain (100-kDa or B-chain) and a light chain (50-kDa or A-chain). Both of the chains are connected by the disulfide bond. The heavy chain which is hemolysin has the function of binding to the axonal membrane. The light chain which is zinc endopeptidase is responsible for toxicity of the molecule. After being formed the tetanospasmin is transported by blood and migrates throughout...
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