Clostridium Tetani (GPR)

Etiology

  • Toxin produced by anaerobic gram positive rod
  • Exposure via contaminated wounds
  • Toxin taken up by pre-synaptic side of NMJ--> travels to spinal cord--> blocks release of inhibitory neurotransmitters--> spasticity
  • Vaccination markedly decreases incidence dz w/50 cases/y US

Symptoms

  • ~1w incubation, increased tone in jaw muscles, dysphagia, diffuse musle pain/spasms, sweating, airway compromise

Physical Exam Findings

  • Fever
  • Tachycardia
  • Elevated bp
  • Lock jaw
  • Severe muscle spasm

Links