A Systematic Review and Analysis of Diphtheria

Expiry Date
: 01/08/2025
CPD Units
: 3.00 Points
: Not yet rated.

Diphtheria, previously a major cause of childhood morbidity and mortality, is re-emerging and posing a risk to global populations and thus this comprehensive review provides guidance for diphtheria-specific preparedness and response.

Keywords: vaccination; diphtheria; outbreak; review.

Reading material:

Educational Objectives

Educational Aim:

The aim of this article is to provide an overview of the clinical and epidemiological aspects of Diphtheria.

Editor's comments:

According to the SA National Institute for Communicable Diseases, two laboratory-confirmed cases of toxigenic Corynebacterium diphtheria disease were identified in April 2023. One was in the Western Cape in a child and the other in an adult in KwaZulu-Natal. These cases are a reminder that a drop in vaccine coverage (likely due to the COVID pandemic) may lead to more cases and that C. diphtheriae may be circulating undetected in other provinces.

Diphtheria antitoxin is in short supply globally; and the World Health Organization is working to secure additional supplies of antitoxin.

Treatment in the absence of anti-toxin is appropriate antibiotics and supportive care. All clinicians throughout the country are urged to have a high index of suspicion for diphtheria, to notify suspected cases and to send specimens to the laboratory for testing.

Guidelines for diagnosis, testing, and treatment at the link below: 


Educational Outcomes:
Upon completion of this module practitioners should have a clear understanding of:

  1. Practitioners should have a better understanding of clinical and public health guidelines for diphtheria-specific preparedness and response..

Instructions for this Module

  • Read the supplied reading material and complete the quiz that follows;
  • You have three attempts to pass the quiz;
  • The pass grade is 70%;
  • You need to pass the quiz to claim your CPD certificate;
  • Please click on the CPD certificate link below to claim your CPD certificate and to update your CPD Manager.

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