Clostridium sordellii
Cultural characteristics
Biochemical characters
Phylum Firmicutes, Class Clostridia, Order Clostridiales, Family Clostridiaceae, Genus Clostridium, Cluster XI (non-Clostridium
sensu stricto),
Clostridium sordellii (Hall and Scott 1927) Prevot 1938.

Historical synonyms:
Bacillus oedematis sporogenes Sordellii 1923,  Bacillus sordellii
Hall and Scott 1927.
Gram-positive, straight rods, 0.5-1.7 x 1.6-20.6 µm, occuring singly or in pairs.
Variable motility by peritrichous flagella.
Spores are oval, central / subterminal, swell slightly the cell and often occur as free
spores; sporulation occurs readily in chopped-meat broth cultures incubated for 24
hours or on blood agar plates incubated 48 hours.
Surface colonies on blood agar plates are 1-4 mm in diameter, circular to irregular,
flat or raised, translucent or opaque, gray or chalk-white, with a dull or shiny surface,
a granular or mottled internal structure, and a scalloped, lobate, or entire margin;
hemolysis is variable, with most strains being slightly beta-hemolytic on rabbit blood
Good growth in nutrient broth, cooked meat broth, and glucose broth. Growth is inhibited by 6.5% NaCl, 20% bile, by pH 8.5 and by
phage-like particles found in strains of
Clostridium bifermentans. Grow at temperature: 25 and 45 ºC, optimum 30-37 ºC.
Abundant gas is produced in PYG deep agar cultures. Major products of metabolism in PYG broth: acetic  acid, formic acid and
abundant H
2 .
Isolated from soil, normal human feces, human clinical specimens including wounds, penile lesions, blood cultures, abscesses,
and abdominal and vaginal drainage, intestinal tracts of both normal and diseased pheasants, bony tissue from dogs with
osteomyelitis, bovine intestinal inflammatory lesions, bovine uterus and muscle, alpaca and sheep infections, chicken skin.
Susceptible to chloramphenicol, erythromycin, and penicillin G.
Is pathogenic for man, cattle, sheep, guinea pigs and mice; pathogenicity also may be ephemeral, and nonpathogenic strains are
isolated frequently. Variable pathogenicity for laboratory animals. Toxin producer.
  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 very abundantly. Milk reaction is variable. Meat digestion is positive.

Positive results for H
2 production, casein hydrolysis, gelatin hydrolysis, indole production, lecithinase, neuraminidase, substrate
utilized and/or acid produced from glucose & maltose (weak).

Negative results for lipase, starch hydrolysis, Voges-Proskauer reaction, substrate utilized and/or acid produced from: amygdalin,
arabinose, cellobiose, dulcitol, galactose, glycogen, inositol, inulin, lactose, mannitol, melezitose, melibiose, raffinose, rhamnose,
salicin, sorbitol, sorbose, starch, sucrose, trehalose & xylose.

Variable results for DN-ase, esculin hydrolysis, H
2S production, hippurate hydrolysis, nitrate reduction, urease, substrate utilized
and/or acid produced from: fructose, glycerol, mannose (weak) & ribose (weak).
(c) Costin Stoica
Culture media
Biochemical tests
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