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Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses (IBIZ)

Working group Clostridia

Clostridiae are gram-positive, anaerobic, endospore-producing, rod-shaped bacteria. They are widely distributed in the environment and can also be found in the intestinal contents of healthy humans and animals. Some species however can cause severe disease in humans and animals. Their ability to produce endospores enables them to survive in the environment for a very long time and makes them resistant to various disinfectants. Clostridiae require an oxygen-free environment for growth. Some species cause disease by producing neurotoxins (botulism, tetanus), while others can lead to diseases and infections of the gastrointestinal tract (e.g. Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium difficile). Furthermore, some Clostridiae cause occasionally life-threatening tissue infections in animals, such as e.g. blackleg (Clostridium chauvoei) and malignant edema (Clostridium septicum). Tissue infections in humans after severe injuries (e.g. caused by Clostridium perfringens) are also possible. 

Currently, the workgroup conducts research on the pathogens Clostridium botulinum, Clostridium chauvoei, Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium difficile.

  • Research on diagnosis, distribution and zoonotic potential of different Clostridium species 
  • Typing and development of typing methods
  • Anaerobic bacteriology
  • Detection of Botulinum neurotoxin and typing
  • Molecular typing methods, ribotyping, MLVA 
  • PCR techniques
  • Immunofluorescence