Diphtheria Essays

Diphtheria Essay

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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

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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

disease diphtheria.

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...


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