Clostridium haemolyticum
Cultural characteristics
Biochemical characters
Phylum Firmicutes, Class Clostridia, Order Clostridiales, Family Clostridiaceae, Genus Clostridium, Cluster I (Clostridium sensu
Clostridium haemolyticum  (Hall 1929) Scott, Turner and Vawter 1935.

Historical synonym:
Bacillus hemolyticus Hall 1929, Clostridium hemolyticus bovis Vawter and Records 1927.
Gram-positive (but rapidly become Gram-negative) straight rods, 0.6-1.6 x 1.9-17.3
µm, occur singly or in pairs. Motile by peritrichous flagella. Spores are oval, located
subterminally, and swelling the cell. Sporulation occurs most readily in 2–3-week-old
chopped-meat broth cultures or on chopped-meat slants incubated at 30 ºC.
Surface colonies on blood agar plates are 1–3 mm in diameter, circular, raised to
convex, translucent, gray, shiny, with a granular or mosaic surface, and an erose on
slightly scalloped margin. Hemolytic. Cultures in PYG broth are turbid, usually with a
granular or flocculent sediment and have a pH of 5.0–5.5 after incubation for 24 h.
Slight growth in nutrient, cooked meat broth; flocculent sediment.
Growth is variable in 6.5% NaCl, 20% bile, or at pH of 8.5. Optimum growth at 37 ºC.
Weak growth at 25 and 45 ºC.
Is extremely sensitive to oxygen and require both prereduced media and stringent
anaerobic conditions. Growth is stimulated by fermentable carbohydrates. Moderate
gas is detected in PYG deep agar cultures. Major products of metabolism in PYG
broth: propionic, acetic and butyric acids, abundant H
Isolated from liver infections, muscle of cattle and sheep, human feces.
Susceptible to chloramphenicol, tetracycline, penicillin G, clindamycin and erythromycin.
Pathogenic for laboratory animals. Cultures are pathogenic for cattle, sheep. In susceptible animals, Clostridium haemolyticum
causes fatal bacillary hemoglobinuria.
Toxins are produced. The major lethal toxin is a phospholipase C (identical with
Clostridium novyi beta toxin) which hydrolyzes
lecithin and sphingomyelin and hemolyzes red blood cells. The organism produces the beta, eta, and theta toxins, similar with those
Clostridium novyi B.
  1. 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,
    Springer, 738-828.
  2. Smith L.D.S. and Hobbs G., 1975. 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.
  3. Secasiu V., 2001. Boli produse de germeni din genul Clostridium. In: Boli infectioase ale animalelor, Moga Manzat R., Ed.
    Brumar, Timisoara, 481-612.
H2 is produced in large amounts. Milk reaction and meat digestion are variable.

Positive results for H
2 production, gelatin hydrolysis, indole production, lecithinase, substrate utilized and/or acid produced from

Negative results for casein hydrolysis, esculin hydrolysis, H
2S production, lipase, nitrate reduction, starch hydrolysis, urease,
Voges-Proskauer test, substrate utilized and/or acid produced from: amygdalin, arabinose, cellobiose, dulcitol, glycogen, inulin,
lactose, mannitol, salicin, sorbitol, sorbose, starch, sucrose & xylose.

Variable results for substrate utilized and/or acid produced from: fructose, galactose (weak), glycerol, inositol, maltose (weak),
mannose, melezitose (weak), melibiose (weak), raffinose (weak), rhamnose (weak), ribose & trehalose (weak).
(c) Costin Stoica
Culture media
Biochemical tests
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