Clostridium tetani

Clostridium tetani


Routine Practices


General Information

Anaerobic gram positive spore-forming bacilli. Appears like a drumstick or tennis racket when spores are present in the cell.

Unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated individuals with deep wound.

Note there is no herd immunity as the organism is found in soil/earth and not transmitted person-to-person.


  • generalized
  • localized
  • cephalic
  • neonatal (very rare)

Surgical debridement of infected wounds is vital to successful treatment.

Treatment of infection does not confirm future protection - requires vaccination to prevent future infection.

Prevention before injury: vaccination!!!

Prevention after injury: vaccination +/- tetanus immune globulin depending on clinical scenario