corynebacterium diphtheria n.
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Corynebacterium Diphtheria. Sami Ayotte. What is it?. It is a Gram-positive , aerobic, non-motile , toxin-producing, rod-shaped bacteria that is typically found in soil. Signs and Symptoms:. Bluish coloration of the skin Bloody, watery drainage from nose

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what is it
What is it?

It is a Gram-positive, aerobic, non-motile, toxin-producing, rod-shaped bacteria that is typically found in soil.

signs and symptoms
Signs and Symptoms:

Bluish coloration of the skin

Bloody, watery drainage from nose

Breathing problems, including difficulty breathing, fast breathing, high-pitch breathing sound (stridor)


Croup-like (barking) cough

Drooling (suggests airway blockage is about to occur)



Painful swallowing

Skin lesions (usually seen in tropical areas)

Sore throat (may range from mild to severe)

Note: There may be no symptoms.

  • If the health care provider thinks you have diphtheria, treatment will likely be started right away, even before test results come back.
  • Diphtheria antitoxin is given as a shot into a muscle or through an IV (intravenous line). The infection is then treated with antibiotics, such as penicillin and erythromycin.
  • You may need to stay in the hospital while getting the antitoxin is being received. Other treatments may include:
    • Fluids by IV
    • Oxygen
    • Bed rest
    • Heart monitoring
    • Insertion of a breathing tube
    • Correction of airway blockages
    • Persons without symptoms who carry diphtheria should be treated with antibiotics.

Routine childhood immunizations and adult boosters prevent the disease.

Anyone who has come into contact with an infected person should get an immunization or booster shot against diphtheria, if they have not already received it. Protection from the vaccine lasts only 10 years. So it is important for adults to get a booster vaccine every 10 years. The booster is called tetanus-diphtheria (Td). (The shot also has vaccine medicine for an infection called tetanus.)