Clostridium histolyticum
Cultural characteristics
Biochemical characters
Phylum Firmicutes, Class Clostridia, Order Clostridiales, Family Clostridiaceae, Genus Clostridium, Cluster II (non-Clostridium
sensu stricto),
Clostridium histolyticum (Weinberg and Séguin 1916) Bergey, Harrison, Breed, Hammer and Huntoon 1923.

Historical synonyms:
Bacillus histolyticus  Weinberg and Seguin 1916, Weibergillus histolyticus  (Weinberg and Séguin) Heller 1922.
Gram-positive, straight rods, 0.5-0.9 x 1.3-9.2 µm, occuring singly, in pairs or in short
chains. Motility is variable. Peritrichous flagella. Spores are oval, central / subterminal,
slightly swelling the cell. Sporulation of most strains occurs most readily in chopped -
meat broth cultures; does not sporulate in aerobic conditions.
Surface colonies on blood agar plates are 0.5–2 mm in diameter, beta-hemolytic,
circular to irregular, flat to low convex, translucent to semiopaque, gray-white, shiny,
with a mosaic or granular surface, and an entire to undulate margin. Abundant growth
in nutrient broth, cooked meat broth. Growth is inhibited by  6.5% NaCl and  20% bile.
Grow at temperature: 25 and 45 ºC (variable), optimum 37 ºC. Is an aerotolerant
clostridia.Moderate amounts of gas is produced in PYG deep agar cultures. Major
products of metabolism in PYG broth is acetate.
Isolated from soil, war wounds, gas gangrene in humans and horses, human intestinal contents; gingival plaque of institutionalized
and primitive populations.
Susceptible to chloramphenicol, erythromycin, penicillin G, clindamycin and tetracycline.
Pathogenic for laboratory animals. Toxin produced; active proteases of the organism may destroy the toxins. Major lethal toxins are
the alpha-toxin (necrotizing) and at least two collagenases (beta-toxin).
  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. Macovei A., 2009. Identificarea bacteriilor anaerobe. In: Tratat de Microbiologie Clinica (Ed. Buiuc D. si Negut M.), editia a IIIa,
    Editura Medicala, Bucuresti, 900-927.
  4. 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 small amounts. Milk reaction is variable. Meat digestion is positive.

Positive results for H
2 production, casein hydrolysis, gelatin hydrolysis and neuraminidase. Digest collagen, hemoglobin, fibrin,
elastin, egg white, coagulated serum, muscle, liver, brain, and Achilles tendon.

Negative results for esculin hydrolysis, indole production, lecithinase, lipase, nitrate reduction, urease, Voges-Proskauer, substrate
utilized and/or acid produced from: amygdalin, arabinose, cellobiose, dulcitol, 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 DN-ase and H
2S production.
(c) Costin Stoica
Culture media
Biochemical tests
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