Clostridium innocuum: Microbiological and clinical characteristics of a potential emerging pathogen

Kathryn E. Cherny*, Emily B. Muscat, Megan E. Reyna, Larry K. Kociolek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Clostridium innocuum is an anaerobic, gram-positive, spore-forming bacterium identified by Smith and King in 1962 after being isolated from a patient with an appendiceal abscess. Its name, C. innocuum, reflected its clinically “innocuous” nature based on observed lack of virulence in animal models of infection. Since that time, C. innocuum has been identified as both part of the normal intestinal flora and the cause of a rare, intrinsically vancomycin-resistant opportunistic infection in immunocompromised patients. More recently, reports from Taiwan suggest that C. innocuum, in addition to being a known extraintestinal pathogen, may also be a diarrheal pathogen that causes a C. difficile infection-like antibiotic-associated diarrheal illness. However, unanswered questions about the clinical relevance of C. innocuum remain. Here we review the microbiological and clinical characteristics of this emerging pathogen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102418
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • C. innocuum
  • Clinical microbiology
  • Clinical review
  • Emerging pathogen
  • Minireview

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Infectious Diseases


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