Clostridium tetani bacteria feature two primary life stages, sporular and vegetative. The latter stage is extremely anaerobic and bacteria of this state are unable to survive oxygen exposure. In contrast, the sporular form is quite hardy and can withstand oxygen and environmental extremes.

Utilizing anaerobic infections, such as infiltration wounds in the skin of humans, C. tetani parasitizes its host using extracellular excretions to degrade surrounding organic material for fermentation.

As with the majority of bacteria, Clostridium tetani reproduces via an asexual reproduction process known as binary fission. In this process a single bacterium cell that has reached its maximal growth stage divides into two smaller identical clone bacteria cells. Due to this process, C. tetani growth is exponential.

Figure 3 and Figure 4 are microscopic views of Clostridium tetani in the hardy sporular state.

    Figure 3

    Figure 4