tetanus


tet·a·nus

noun \ˈte-tə-nəs, ˈtet-nəs\

medical : a dangerous disease that is caused by bacteria that usually enter the body through a cut or wound

Full Definition of TETANUS

1
a :  an acute infectious disease characterized by tonic spasm of voluntary muscles especially of the jaw and caused by an exotoxin of a bacterium (Clostridium tetani) which is usually introduced through a wound — compare lockjaw
b :  the bacterium that causes tetanus
2
:  prolonged contraction of a muscle resulting from rapidly repeated motor impulses

Origin of TETANUS

Middle English, from Latin, from Greek tetanos, from tetanos stretched, rigid; akin to Greek teinein to stretch — more at thin
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Microbiology Terms

pathogen, salmonella

tet·a·nus

noun \ˈtet-ən-əs, ˈtet-nəs\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of TETANUS

1
a : an acute infectious disease characterized by tonic spasm of voluntary muscles and especially of the muscles of the jaw and caused by the specific toxin produced by a bacterium of the genus Clostridium (C. tetani) which is usually introduced through a wound—compare lockjaw b : tetanus bacillus
2
: prolonged contraction of a muscle resulting from a series of motor impulses following one another too rapidly to permit intervening relaxation of the muscle

tetanus

noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Acute bacterial disease caused by Clostridium tetani (see clostridium). Spores of this organism are common, especially in soil; it thrives away from oxygen in deep wounds, especially punctures. Its toxin stimulates nerves, causing muscle rigidity with frequent spasms. This may occur around the site of the wound or, if the toxin reaches spinal motor ganglia via the bloodstream, throughout the body. The jaw muscles are almost always involved (lockjaw). Vaccination every few years is the best protection; an antitoxin prevents or delays symptoms in cases of suspect wounds but has limited value once they develop. Treatment usually includes antibiotics, sedatives, and muscle relaxants. Recovered patients are not immune.

Variants of TETANUS

tetanus or lockjaw

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