Tetanus case definition

This document contains the case definitions for tetanus which is nationally notifiable within Australia. This definition should be used to determine whether a case should be notified.

Page last updated: 01 February 2012

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VersionStatusLast reviewedEndorsement dateImplementation date
No changeCDWG 9 March 2011CDNA 23 January 20121 February 2012
1.0Initial case definition (2004)


Only confirmed cases should be notified.

Confirmed case

A confirmed case requires either:

Laboratory definitive evidence OR clinical evidence.

Laboratory definitive evidence

Isolation of Clostridium tetani from a wound in a compatible clinical setting and prevention of positive tetanospasm in mouse test from such an isolate using specific tetanus antitoxin.

Clinical evidence

A clinically compatible illness without other apparent cause.

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