DiphtheriaDanielle, Matt, Kelsey, Joe Table 3 Period 3 Anatomy
History• Diphtheria comes from the Greek word Dipthera, meaning leather. This refers to the leathery, grayish membrane that grows on the tonsils, throat and in the nose.• It was named by French physician, Pierre Bretonneau, in 1826.• It is most common in children and adolescents.• Between 1735 and 1740, the New England colonies experienced deadly outbreaks, claiming the lives of 13,000 to 15,000 children.
Diphtheria: An Overview• Diphtheria is an acute infectious disease of the mucus membrane or the skin.• It is caused by Corynebacterium Diphtheriae and Corynebacterium Ulcerans bacteria.• The bacteria usually affect the tonsils, throat, nose, skin and very rarely the heart and the nerves.
Characteristics of theDiphtheria BacteriaAerobic,Non-motile,Gram-positive,Rod shaped,Produces toxins This photomicrograph depicted a number of Gram-positive Corynebacterium diphtheriae bacteria, which had been stained using the methylene blue technique.
Spread of Diphtheria• It spreads when people are in close contact with discharges from an infected persons mouth, nose, throat, or skin.• Communicability may last 4 weeks.
Signs and Symptoms• Sore throat may range from mild to severe with painful swallowing and hoarseness of the voice.• Drooling which indicates the obstruction of the airway passage.• Fever and chills.• Bloody, watery serosanguineous drainage from the nose.• Croup-like coughing.• Stridor, difficulty in breathing or sometimes-rapid breathing.• Apnea may occur.• Bluish coloration of the skin may be caused due to lack of oxygen.• Skin lesions can be seen in cutaneous diphtheria.• Swollen glands due to the enlarged lymph nodes in the neck (bull neck). The characteristic thick membrane of diphtheria infection in the posterior pharynx.
Diagnosis• Diphtheria can be diagnosed usually by proper clinical examination, throat culture from the infected area and blood tests
Treatment• The patient has to be given treatment immediately after the disease is suspected. A delay in treatment can result in death or long-term heart disease. In severe cases there is obstruction of the throat, which may require intubation or a tracheostomy.• Antibiotics are used in patients or carriers to destroy C. diphtheriae and prevent its transmission to others. Some example include: – Erythromycin that is given orally or by injection for 14 days. – Procaine Penicillin G given intramuscularly for 14 days.
Prevention• Diphtheria is easily prevented with the use of a safe and effective vaccine.• Most people receive their first vaccination for the disease as children. This is know as the DTP vaccine (diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis).
ResourcesDiphtheria. (n.d.). Retrieved from Medindia website:http://www.medindia.net/patients/patientinfo/diphtheria.htmCheever, F. S., M.D. (2004). Diphtheria. In Encyclopedia Americana (Vol. 9, p. 140). Danbury, CT: Scholastic Library Publishing. (Original work published1829)MacGregor RR. Corynebacterium diphtheriae. In: Mandell GL, Bennett JE, Dolan R, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett’s Principles and Practice ofInfectious Diseases. 7th ed. Orlando, FL: Saunders Elsevier; 2009:chap 205.Images:Slide 1The Historical Medical Library of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Koplik, Henry, MD. The Diseases of Infancy and Childhood, 4th ed. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1918.Slide 6Guy, A. M., M.D. (n.d.). Diphtheria in Emergency Medicine. Retrieved from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/782051-overviewSlide 4Diphtheria. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/phil/html/ diphtheria/7323.html