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Surgery is the mainstay of prophylaxis and treatment of gas gangrene. The cases are treated aggressively with prompt removal of damaged tissue and clearing the wounds to remove foreign materials, necrotic tissue, and blood clots. Hyperbaric oxygen treatment has been suggested to be beneficial. Antiserum against alpha-toxin is no longer used.
Metronidazole is the antibiotic of choice. Prophylactic use of the antibiotic in association with surgery is effective. The drug is administered intravenously before surgery and is given three times a day at an interval of 8 hours.
Antibiotic prophylaxis using broad-spectrum antibiotics, such as gentamicin, amoxicillin, and metronidazole, is effec-tive, since occurrence of mixed infections with aerobic and anaerobic bacteria is frequent.
Antibiotic therapy is not recommended for the treatment of C. perfringens food poisoning.
Use of antibiotics and wound hygiene are the key factors that help in prevention of C. perfringens infections. Wounds are cleansed and debrided, and penicillin may be given for prophy-laxis. No vaccine is available against these diseases.
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