Evasive strategies by the organism

Clostridia have devised many ways to enter the host and cause disease. In the case of gas gangrene and wound infections C. perfringens enters the host through traumatic or surgical wound often taking advantage of poor blood supply in the wound area. Once Clostridia grow they release their toxins and cause disease. In C. difficile-associated colitis the bacteria multiply when the normal bowel flora is disrupted by antibiotics. C. difficile then releases its toxins which target intestinal epithelial cells and cause diarrhea and colonic inflammation. In the case of botulism, however, the organism does not grow in the host but the disease is caused by ingestion of C. botulinum toxins present in contaminated food.

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