Causes Of Tetanus. Tetanus is caused mainly by the bacterium clostridium tetani. The bacteria which is found mostly in soils and in rusted metal surfaces, exists in two forms namely dormant and active form.
The bacterium is capable of remaining dormant or inactive for a considerable amount of time. It is active in vegetable cells. The bacteria are the infection producing ones and they multiply at an astounding rate.
The dormant bacteria are also called spores. They are resistant to temperature and can be found in particles of soil, sand and dust. The spores survive the extreme conditions for several years and they have a very good adaptability.
The active bacteria which are found in different vegetable and animal cells, release two types of toxins, namely tetanolysin and tetanospasmin. These two toxins flow into the human system from the opening created by the cut of the wound. Tetanospasmin is considered to be responsible for the disease.
The infection, in most cases arises from a small, even a minute cut. The region of the wound if left exposed attracts the spores and the toxins and they migrate into the human blood cells. Even a puncture wound or a scrape along the skin could sometimes attract the tetanus bacteria
It is a common notion that tetanus is caused only by wounds and cuts. Actually tetanus bacteria enter into any dry or dead cell tissue in the human body. People suffering from frostbite come under serious threat from these bacteria because of the numbness they experience and the possibility of dry tissues.
Tetanus infection may also occur at the time of surgery. Improperly disposed needles or rusted needles are the main causes in case of surgical related tetanus cases. Even if the needles are not sterilised properly it may result in the accumulation of bacteria, if the surroundings are not hygienic.
Child birth, which is similar to surgery, needs to be performed in a hygienically clean environment. The major cause of concern in this case is that if the bacterium affects the cut made to remove the baby, chances are that it might affect both mother and child.
The most serious and common case of tetanus being caused by a needle is by the usage of drugs. Drug users fall easy prey to the tetanus bacteria which first attracts itself to the local spot of the needle, where the drug has been injected. It slowly multiplies and transforms into the generalised tetanus form.
Crash wounds which are caused as a result of accidents or crashes attracts the bacteria. Health Research has shown that an accumulation of foreign particles in the wound further provides fodder for the bacteria. When foreign particles surround the wound, they bring in dirt and soil particles along with them. The bacterium present in these soil particles attract towards the cut and enter the body.
Immunization against the tetanus bacteria is available today and people who are not properly immunized come under higher risk of being diagnosed with the tetanus infection. Tetanus infection is painful but it can be brought into control in due course of time.