bacterial infection characterized by muscle spasms

Tetanus (or lockjaw) is a disease that leads to muscle contractions that stay that way for some time.

Painting by Sir Charles Bell, 1809, showing a patient suffering from tetanus

Infection generally occurs through wound contamination, and often involves a cut or deep puncture wound. The main symptoms are caused by tetanospasmin, a neurotoxin produced by the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium tetani. As the infection goes on, muscle spasms develop in the jaw. This is usually followed by problems with swallowing. The disease leads to muscle stiffness and spasms in other parts of the body.[1] Infection can be prevented by proper immunization and by post-exposure prophylaxis.[2]

References change

  1. Wells CL, Wilkins TD (1996). Clostridia: Sporeforming Anaerobic Bacilli. In: Baron's Medical Microbiology (Baron S et al., eds.) (4th ed.). Univ of Texas Medical Branch. ISBN 0-9631172-1-1. (via NCBI Bookshelf).
  2. "Tetanus" (PDF). CDC Pink Book. Retrieved 2007-01-26.

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