Clostridium tetani

(redirected from Tetanus bacillus)
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Clostridium tetani

[klä‚strid·ē·əm ′tet·ən‚ī]
(medicine)
A spore-forming bacterium that produces a powerful toxin, tetanospasmin, that blocks inhibitory synapses in the central nervous system and thus causes the severe muscle spasms characteristic of tetanus.
References in periodicals archive ?
Produced by a strain of bacterium - Clostridium botulinum, a relative of the tetanus bacillus - botulinum toxin was once the cause of fatal food poisoning from home-canned fruits and vegetables before the arrival of the pressure cooker.
The incubation period (the time between exposure to the tetanus bacillus and the development of clinical signs and symptoms) varies from a few days to a few weeks.
In the old days, the disease known as "tetanus" was called "lockjaw" because of the painful muscular spasm and rigidity produced by the deadly toxin of the tetanus bacillus.