Chapter 27

Diphtheria: Corynebacterium Diphtheria is the Causative Agent

Muhammad Imran Qadir and Asma Jan Muhammad


Diphtheria is an acute disease caused by a specific bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae. In 1883, Klebs first discovered this bacterium in diphtheritic membranes. Diphtheria can spread from one person to another person by direct contact or it may be spread by air. Different symptoms occur during infection and symptoms appear after 7 days of infection. Symptoms of the disease are changed from mild to severe. When the diphtheria disease occurs then a thick covering is formed in the throat. This covering causes difficulty during breathing and it can block the airway. PCR, ICS, and Elek test are used for the diagnosis of the toxin. Mostly children and adult lives are threatening by diphtheria. Vaccines are available for diphtheria disease. 5% to 10% of deaths occur in the affected person. Antibiotics and antitoxin are also available for the treatment of the disease.

Total Pages: 118-122 (5)

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