Phylum Firmicutes, Class Clostridia, Order Clostridiales, Family Clostridiaceae, Genus Clostridium, Cluster I (Clostridium sensu
stricto), Clostridium subterminale (Hall and Whitehead 1927) Spray 1948.
Historical synonym: Bacillus subterminalis Hall and Whitehead 1927.
Gram-positive straight rods, 0.5-1.9 x 1.6-11.0 µm. Motility is variable (peritrichous).
Spores are oval, subterminal/central, swelling the cell; sporulation occurs readily on
blood agar, egg-yolk agar, and chopped-meat agar. The cell wall is digested by
Surface colonies on blood agar are 1-4 mm in diameter, raised or low convex,
translucent, gray, irregularly circular with a lobate or scalloped margin and a matt
surface, and usually are beta-hemolytic. They often have a crystalline, mottled, or
mosaic internal structure. Cultures in PYG broth are turbid with a smooth or ropy
sediment and have a pH of 6.0-6.4 after incubation for 5 day. Slight to moderate
growth in nutrient broth; moderate growth in cooked meat broth.
Optimum temperature for growth is 37 ºC. Variable growth at 25 and 45 ºC. Growth is
inhibited by 6.5% NaCl or 20% bile. Moderate amounts of gas are produced in PYG
deep agar cultures. No aero-tolerance. Products in PYG broth include large amounts
of acetate and butyrate and isovalerate; abundant hydrogen is produced.
Isolated from marine sediment; soil; bovine feces; the small bowel contents of adult humans; feces of healthy humans, of humans
with antimicrobial-associated diarrhea; infection in animals; rarely (and usually as part of a polymicrobial flora) from blood, biliary tract
infections, empyema fluid, and soft tissue or bone infections of humans.
Susceptible to erythromycin, penicillin G, and tetracycline.
Culture supernatants are not toxic for mice. Toxin is not produced. Not pathogenic for laboratory animals.
- N.A. Logan and P. De Vos, 2009. Genus I. Clostridium Prazmowski 1880. In: (Eds.) P.D. Vos, G. Garrity, D. Jones, N.R. Krieg, W.
Ludwig, F.A. Rainey, K.-H. Schleifer, W.B. Whitman. Bergey’s Manual of Systematic Bacteriology, Volume 3: The Firmicutes,
- Smith L.D.S. and Hobbs G., 1974. Genus III. Clostridium Prazmowski 1880. In: (Eds.) Buchanan R.E. and Gibbons N.E., Bergey’s
Manual of Determinative Bacteriology, Eighth Edition, The Williams & Wilkins Company, Baltimore, 551-572.
Milk reaction (curd) and meat digestion are variable.
Positive results for ammonia production, casein hydrolysis, DNase, hydrogen production, gelatin hydrolysis & neutral red reduction.
Negative results for catalase, collagenase, esculin hydrolysis, indole production, lipase, neuraminidase, nitrate reduction, starch
hydrolysis, urease, Voges-Proskauer reaction, substrate utilization and/or acid production from: amygdalin, arabinose, cellobiose,
cellulose, dulcitol, erythritol, fructose, galactose, glucose, glycogen, glycerol, inositol, inulin, lactose, maltose, mannitol, mannose,
melezitose, melibiose, raffinose, rhamnose, ribose, salicin, sorbitol, sorbose, starch, sucrose, trehalose & xylose.
Variable results for H2S production, lecithinase & resazurin reduction.
(c) Costin Stoica