Clostridium tetani


Standard Precautions

General Information

Anaerobic gram-positive, spore-forming bacilli.

Spores widely distributed in soil and intestines and feces of animals. No herd immunity and not transmitted from person-to-person.

Unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated individuals with deep wound.


  • Generalized (80% of cases)

  • Localized

  • Cephalic (rare)

  • Neonatal

  • Laryngospasm

  • Fractures

  • Hypertension

  • Abnormal heart rhythm

  • Nosocomial infections

  • Pulmonary embolism

  • Aspiration pneumonia

Deep wound with necrotic tissue highest risk.


  • Children <7 years should receive DTaP or DT vaccine

  • Adults & adolescents should receive a single dose of Tdap, and routine booster immunization every 10 years

CDC. The Pink Book - Tetanus. December 2020.

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