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I am doing a report on the disease Diphtheria. The
definition of the disease is a bacterial disease that
affects the throat and can cause serious or fatal
complications. It is a serious disease caused by the
bacterium. There is a lot of history on this disease.
In the late 1800’s diphtheria came across western
Europe and the United States, it killed thousands
of children. The diphtheria characterized by
infection is more contagious than the disease
characterized by respiratory infection. Diphtheria
is a disease of the respiratory system. It causes
membranes to grow on the inner throat.
Sometimes the membranes release a toxin into the
bloodstream(which is poisonous). The membranes
clog the air passages then you can hardly…show more content…
Those are most of the symptoms of
Diphtheria. There are many treatments for
Diphtheria. As soon as the disease is suspected
diphtheria antitoxin is given as an intramuscular
injection. The Disease is treated with antibiotics.
As an infant you should safely be give the DPT
vaccine. This vaccine is a three in one vaccine that
protects against diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus.
The vaccine has some side effects as slight fever,
crankiness, and tenderness of skin. DPT is usually
given in the leg or the arm. You can also be give
the DT vaccine. The DT vaccine is a two in one
vaccine. This vaccine should be given to children
less than seven years old. This is given in the arm
or the thigh. This protects against diphtheria and
tetanus. There is one last vaccine. It is the Td
vaccine. The Td vaccine is also a two in one
vaccine that protects against tetanus and
diphtheria. This should be give to adults only.
After the regular series of injections, a booster of
Td vaccine should be taken at the age of fourteen
to sixteen and every ten years after that. This is a
different dose than the DT vaccine. This one is
usually given in the arm. The vaccination is one of
the recommended childhood immunizations and
should begin during infancy. A lot of times it is
required before the children start school. There is
a minimum of three injections, but there can be five
Corynebacteria are Gram-positive, aerobic, nonmotile, rod-shaped bacteria related to the
Actinomycetes. They do not form spores or branch as do the actinomycetes, but they
have the characteristic of forming irregular shaped, club-shaped or V-shaped
arrangements in normal growth. They undergo snapping movements just after cell
division which brings them into characteristic arrangements resembling Chinese letters.
The genus Corynebacterium consists of a diverse group of bacteria including animal and
plant pathogens, as well as saprophytes. Some corynebacteria are part of the normal flora
of humans, finding a suitable niche in virtually every anatomic site. The best known and
most widely studied species is Corynebacterium diphtheriae, the causal agent of the
History and Background
No bacterial disease of humans has been as successfully studied as diphtheria. The
etiology, mode of transmission, pathogenic mechanism and molecular basis of exotoxin
structure, function, and action have been clearly established. Consequently, highly
effective methods of treatment and prevention of diphtheria have been developed.
The study of Corynebacterium diphtheriae traces closely the development of medical
microbiology, immunology and molecular biology. Many contributions to these fields, as
well as to our understanding of host-bacterial interactions, have been made
studying diphtheria and the diphtheria toxin.
Hippocrates provided the first clinical description of diphtheria in the 4th century B.C.
There are also references to the disease in ancient Syria and Egypt.
In the 17th century, murderous epidemics of diphtheria swept Europe; in Spain 'El
garatillo' (the strangler'), in Italy and Sicily, 'the gullet disease'.
In the 18th century, the disease reached the American colonies and reached epidemic
proportions in 1735. Often, whole families died of the disease in a few weeks.
The bacterium that caused diphtheria was first described by Klebs in 1883, and was
cultivated by Loeffler in 1884, who applied Koch's postulates and properly identified...