Pathology. an infectious, often fatal disease caused by a specific bacterium that enters the body through wounds and characterized by respiratory paralysis and tonic spasms and rigidity of the voluntary muscles, especially those of the neck and lower jaw. Compare lockjaw.
Also called tetanus bacillus. Bacteriology. the bacterium, Clostridium tetani, causing this disease.
Physiology. a state of sustained contraction of a muscle during which the muscle does not relax to its initial length or tension, induced by a rapid succession of stimuli.
Also called lockjaw. an acute infectious disease in which sustained muscular spasm, contraction, and convulsion are caused by the release of exotoxins from the bacterium, Clostridium tetani: infection usually occurs through a contaminated wound
(physiol) any tense contraction of a muscle, esp when produced by electric shocks