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Pathogenicity of Corynebacterium diphtheriae:

1) Diphtheria
2) Cutaneous Diptheria

Portals of Corynebacterium diphtheriae:

1) nose/mouth
2) compromised skin

Transmission of Corynebacterium diphtheriae:

respiratory disease
1) droplets
2) contact w/ shed skin crusts
3) fomites


a) pseudomembrane-leathery coating
occluding respitatory tract
b) toxin dissemination into blood stream

Cutaneous Diptheria:

desert sore
a) usually self limiting
b) can lead to septicemia

Corynebacterium diphtheriae

Gram + bacilli
non spore forming
tend to be pleomorphic
Catalase +
mycolic acids

Exotoxin of C. diphtheriae

Consists of 2 polypeptide fragments
Fragment B binds to target cells in the heart and nervous system
Fragment A interacts with the cytoplasm and arrests protein synthesis.

C. diphtheria complication 1

a film the develops in the pharynx from solidification of fluid
this can cause asphyxiation

C. diphtheria complication most dangerous

toxin absorbed from the throat and carred via blood to organ..primarily heart and nerves.

Corynebacterium diphtheriae Morphology

1. gram (+) rods (very pleomorphic and club-shaped)
2. non-spore forming
3. non-motile

Corynebacterium diphtheriae Transmission

respiratory droplets from a carrier

Corynebacterium diphtheriae Metabolism

1. facultative anaerobe
2. catalase (+)

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