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Corynebacterium diphtheria


Gram positive rods with end that is swollen (club shaped). They lie in small groups at acute angels to each other (Chinese letter appearance). The baciili are beaded and can be stained with methylene blue.

Cultural characteristics

Bacilli are aerobes that can be grown on Loeffler's serum.


Diphtheria toxin

The toxin is a powerful exotoxin that diffuses to the blood stream causing toxemia and affects the heart, kidney, liver and nervous system.

Diseases caused by corynebacterium diphtheria

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