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Gas gangrene


Infection of soft tissues with the anaerobic Clostridium perfringens may lead to gas gangrene. Clostridia are endosporing soil bacteria which gain entry through a wound. In deeper wounds, anaerobic conditions favor germination and growth of Clostridia, where they then produce numerous exotoxins, including several lethal toxins, hemolysins, lecithinase, collagenase, protease, hyaluronidase and other tissue degrading enzymes. Soft tissue infections result in cellulitis or myositis which can deteriorate into myonecrosis (gangrene) with death of tissue and resulting oxygen deprivation.