Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Diphtheria Underlying Cause

Diphtheria is caused by the bacteria, Corynebacterium diphtheria. The bacteria produce a toxin that destroys tissue in the throat and larynx. Diphtheria toxin can spread throughout the bloodstream where it can damage the nervous system, kidneys, and heart.

Continue to Diphtheria Transmission

Last Updated: Apr 16, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Diphtheria References
  1. Matheson AJ, Goa KL. Diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis vaccine adsorbed (Triacelluvax; DTaP3-CB): a review of its use in the prevention of Bordetella pertussis infection. Paediatr Drugs. 2000 Mar-Apr;2(2):139-59. [10937466]
  2. McCluney NA, McKerrow WS. Should we be concerned about diphtheria in the UK? Surgeon. 2004 Aug;2(4):234-5. [15570833]
  3. Pichichero ME, Rennels MB, Edwards KM, Blatter MM, Marshall GS, Bologa M, Wang E, Mills E. Combined tetanus, diphtheria, and 5-component pertussis vaccine for use in adolescents and adults. JAMA. 2005 Jun 22;293(24):3003-11. [15933223]
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