Complete Information on Clostridium Sordellii

By: Juliet Cohen

Clostridium sordellii is an infrequent human pathogen. It has been demonstrated to be occasionally responsible for myonecrosis or gas gangrene. C. sordellii bacteremia and sepsis occur rarely. Most cases of sepsis from C. sordellii occur in patients with underlying conditions. Severe toxic shock syndrome among previously healthy persons has been described in a small number of C. sordellii cases, most often associated with gynecologic infections in women and infection of the umbilical stump in newborns. It has also been described in post-partum females, medically-induced abortions, injection drug users and trauma cases.

Women are at highest risk of infection from C. sordellii following a live birth, spontaneous, medical, or surgical abortion. The rate of colonization (when bacteria are present, but not causing an infection) with Clostridium species in the period after abortion has been reported to be as high as 29%, whereas these bacteria have been isolated in the secretions of 5%-10% of non-pregnant women.Symptoms of a C. sordellii infection include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and sometimes abdominal pain without fever. These symptoms often can occur in women after live birth or following a spontaneous, medical, or surgical abortion.

There are several clinical features which are unique to C. sordellii: marked leukocytosis , refractory hypotension, severe tachycardia, haemoconcentration, persistent apyrexia and profound capillary leak syndrome. In terms of management, there is no hard and fast rule as with most bacterial pathogens but past data reveals C. sordellii susceptibility to beta-lactams, clindamycin, tetracycline and chloramphenicol. C. sordellii is spread between persons or from the environment to persons. Other similar Clostridium species are spread from person to person and sometimes, contaminated surfaces are involved in this transmission.

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