Diphtheria in an Adult: A Paradigm of Waning Immunity
Dr. Varsha Gupta,
Professor and Head, Department of Microbiology, Government Medical College and Hospital, Second Floor, Chandigarh, India.
In the past 10 years, there have been several reported cases of the existence of a vaccine-preventable disease from several Indian states. Diphtheria, re-emerge as a major public health problem as this fatal infection used to be noticed in toddlers and school-going has now been stated to occur amongst adults also despite the fully functional Universal Immunisation Program (UIP) in India. India contributed about 53.9% of diphtheria cases globally in the year 2016. In cases, the reason for the upsurge could be attributed to lack of proper immunisation or waning of vaccine-induced immunity with increasing age. Here, a case of a 24-year-old adult male was reported who presented with acute membranous tonsillitis, a preliminary diagnosis made on physical examination. Corynaebacterium diphtheriae was isolated. Finally, the isolate was confirmed as C. diphtheriae using Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) system.