Diphtheria is an acute, life-threatening, infectious disease. Children aged 3–7 years are most susceptible to it; in recent years, the incidence of adolescents and adults has increased.
Diphtheria is an acute, life-threatening, infectious disease. It proceeds in the form of acute inflammation of the upper respiratory tract, mainly the pharynx (approximately 90% of cases), the nose, the skin at the sites of damage, eyes or genitals.
The main threat, however, is not inflammation, but poisoning with a toxin, which is produced by the bacterium, the causative agent of the disease, while the cardiovascular and nervous systems are mainly affected.
The causative agent of diphtheria and infection
The causative agent of diphtheria is Corynebacterium diphteriae – gram-positive bacteria in the form of sticks with characteristic bulbous thickenings at the ends, which are placed in pairs in swabs, at an angle in the form of a Roman numeral V with respect to each other. Diphtheria bacilli secrete diphtheria toxin, the enzyme neuraminidase and other biochemically active compounds in the process of life. Continue reading