(klō-kā′) Fr. anatomist, 1790–1883.
C. canal An irregular passage through the center of the vitreous body in the fetus.
The completed medical chart of a patient, either after discharge from care or after the patient's death.
(klos-trid′ē-ŭm) [L. Clostridium, a genus name, fr. Gr. klōstēr, spindle] A genus of gram-positive, anaerobic, spore-forming bacilli in the family Bacillaceae. The genus comprises more than 250 species inhabit soil, water, and the intestinal tracts of humans and animals. Many species are pathogenic in humans, including those that colonize dead tissue, secrete numerous proteolytic enzymes, and cause gas gangrene. SEE: gas gangrene.
C. baratii A species in which some strains produce a neurotoxin that causes botulism. SEE: botulism.
C. botulinum The species that causes most cases of botulism. Under anaerobic conditions, C. botulinum produces a neurotoxin that causes paralysis by blocking the release of acetylcholine at neuromuscular junctions. The species comprises four distinct groups (labeled I through IV) initially grouped together by their ability to produce botulinum toxin (botulin). SEE: botulism.
C. butyricum A species in which some strains produce a neurotoxin that causes botulism. SEE: botulism.
C. chauvoei The species that causes blackleg or symptomatic anthrax in cattle.
C. difficile ABBR: C. diff. A species that causes watery diarrhea, fever, anorexia, and abdominal pain, sometimes accompanied by pseudomembranous colitis, esp. in patients previously treated with antibiotics or confined in health care settings. Most antibiotics (except aminoglycosides) have been associated with the development of C. diff. -associated disease, which varies in clinical significance from a relatively mild diarrheal illness, to one complicated by dehydration, electrolyte disturbances, toxic megacolon, and death. The disease is caused by two exotoxins released by the bacterium into the colon: TcdA and TcdB.
DIAGNOSIS: Infections with C. diff. may be detected with cytotoxin neutralization assays, enzyme immunoassays, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays, or loop-mediated isothermal amplification.
PATIENT CARE: Outbreaks of C diff. are found in many health care institutions, including nursing homes and hospitals. To prevent the spread of the disease in these facilities, staff should practice scrupulous hand hygiene, and patients affected by diarrheal illnesses should be isolated. Gowns and gloves should be worn by personnel attending infected patients. Linens should be disinfected and other infection control practices followed. Surfaces potentially contaminated by clostridial spores should be treated with hypochlorite bleaches (household bleach) as a disinfectant. Personal patient care items should not be shared or re-used. Mild to moderately infected patients typically improve with the oral administration of metronidazole or vancomycin; more severely ill patients may need infusions of vancomycin directly into the gastrointestinal tract. Patients with toxic megacolon may ...