Origin of clostridium
New Latin, genus name, from Greek klōstēr spindle, from klōthein to spin
First Known Use: 1884
Medical Definition of clostridium
1 capitalized : a genus of saprophytic rod-shaped or spindle-shaped usually gram-positive bacteria of the family Bacillaceae that are anaerobic or require very little free oxygen and are nearly cosmopolitan in soil, water, sewage, and animal and human intestines, that are very active biochemically comprising numerous fermenters of carbohydrates with vigorous production of acid and gas, many nitrogen-fixers, and others which rapidly putrefy proteins, and that include important pathogens—see blackleg, botulism, gas gangrene, tetanus bacillus
2plural clos·trid·ia \-ē-ə\play a: any bacterium of the genus Clostridiumb: a spindle-shaped or ovoid bacterial cell; especially : one swollen at the center by an endospore
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