is a gram-positive, rod-shaped, anaerobic, spore-forming pathogenic bacterium. C. perfringens
is ever present in nature and can be found as a normal component of decaying vegetation, marine sediment, the intestinal tract of humans and other vertebrates, insects, and soil. C. perfringens
is the most common bacterial agent for gas gangrene, which is necrosis, putrefaction of tissues, and gas production. C. perfringens
is the third most common cause of
food poisoning. The toxin involved in
is known as
α-toxin, which inserts into the plasma membrane
of cells, producing gaps in the membrane that disrupt normal cellular function.