Published on 11 March 2022 - 13:05 GMT

By Dokubo.

Image Source: Quizizz

Corynebacterium diphtheriae (also known as Klebs-Löffler bacillusis) the bacterium that causes Diphtheria. It is a gram negative bacterium that can survive both with and without oxygen. It comes in varieties of shapes and most often appears like 'V' or 'L' resembling a typical Chinese letter.

Diphtheria is simply a bacterial infectious respiratory disease/infection. The bacteria produce dangerous toxins called Diphtheria Toxins when in the body leading to breathing difficulties, heart failure, paralysis and even death. It occurs most in people who have low immune system and in individuals who are not vaccinated.

Before vaccines were developed for it, Diphtheria was one of the leading causes of children's death worldwide.


It spreads mainly through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. 😷 Due to the availability of the vaccines, the infection has been nearly eliminated in developed countries. However, it is still hammering those in developing countries who don't have access to the vaccines.

When the bacteria enter the respiratory tract, it infects the epithelial cells and make them become weak. When this happens, it causes sore throat, fever, and in most cases swollen glands.

Image showing Diphtheria patches.

The toxins produced by the bacteria kill healthy epithelial cells and within few days, the dead tissues form a thick gray coating like what you saw in the attached picture. The coating is referred to as 'Pseudomembrane' and it is what brings about difficulty in breathing in people suffering from Diphtheria🤷‍♂️.


When treating Diphtheria, the treatment is aimed at neutralizing the toxins which are already in the body and an eventual elimination of the bacteria.

It should be understood that Corynebacterium diphtheriae can easily be eliminated using many classes of antibiotics, Penicillins, Cephalosporins and Macrolides inclusive but the toxins should be dealt with first.


•The Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis (DTaP) vaccine is very effective and it is very highly recommended as a means of protecting yourself from Diphtheria. It is a compound vaccine that protects one especially children from Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (Whooping Cough).

•Sometimes, the bacteria can be found in open wounds and touching such wounds would be you dinning with them.

•Avoid very close contact with people who cough.

•Wear nose mask while going close to such people


Diphtheria can be deadly, treat as fast as you notice it by visiting the hospital.