Clostridium perfringens is a Gram-positive, rod-shaped, non-motile, anaerobic, spore-forming bacterium. It is a ubiquitous bacterium associated with several exotoxin-mediated clinical diseases. There are 12 recognized toxins, and the species is divided into types A through E on the basis of the spectrum of toxins produced. It is responsible for causing necrotic enteritis and gangrenous dermatitis in poultry.
Drug Susceptibility: C. perfringens is generally, but not universally susceptible to: penicillin-G, amoxicillin, ticarcillin, piperacillin, cefazolin, cefoxitin, cefotetan, third generation cephalosporins, chloramphenicol, clindamycin, macrolides, metronidazole, imipenem, meropenem, tetracycline, tigecycline, fluoroquinolones, vancomycin, daptomycin, quinupristin-dalfopristin, rifampin, and the combinations of penicillins and beta-lactamase inhibitors. Resistance of C. perfringens isolates to tetracycline was found in strains isolated from poultry in Sweden (76%), Denmark (10%) and Norway (29%).
Disinfectants: C. perfringens spores are resistant to ethyl and propyl alcohols, chlorine dioxide. They can be killed by high level disinfectants such as 2% aqueous glutaraldehyde within 3 hours, and 8% formaldehyde.
Physical inactivation: C. perfringens spores are highly resistant to both heat, and gamma-irradiation. Enterotoxin is heat labile and can be inactivated by heat treatment at 60 degrees Celsius for 5 minutes.
Survival in the Environment: C. perfringens spores can survive in soil, crevices, food, decaying vegetation, marine sediments, internal cavities and in the anaerobic conditions inside animal carcasses.