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What is diphtheria and how does it develop antibiotic resistance?

The world has been fighting the Coronavirus pandemic for more than a year, and the virus has not been completely eliminated and continues to cause infection among people around the world, but diphtheria appears to be the latest emerging health problem that develops antimicrobial resistance, according to the latest reports, and scientists have warned that diphtheria It develops into antibiotic resistance, and may lead to the ineffectiveness of current vaccines, according to a time now news website.

What is diphtheria?


Diphtheria is a highly contagious disease that affects the nose, throat and sometimes the skin. It can lead to breathing difficulties, heart failure and paralysis, and if left untreated it can sometimes be life threatening. The disease is primarily caused by the Corynebacterium diphtheriae and is spread through coughing, sneezing and close contact with a person. Injured.

In many parts of the world, including the United Kingdom, children are vaccinated against the infection, and in low- and middle-income countries there is widespread infection due to unvaccinated and partially vaccinated societies.

The latest study, published by researchers from the United Kingdom and India, used genomics to map the infection, including a subset of India, where more than half of the globally reported cases occurred in 2018, and the study results indicated that bacteria from multiple continents have been among humans since At least a century.

The study also found 18 different types of diphtheria toxin, the main component that causes the disease, that the vaccine targets, giving it the ability to change the structure of the virus and reduce the effectiveness of vaccines.

"The diphtheria vaccine is designed to neutralize the toxin, so any genetic variants that alter the structure of the toxin can have an effect on the effectiveness of the vaccine," said Professor Gordon Dujan of the Cambridge Institute for Clinical Immunology and Infectious Diseases (CITIID), according to The Independent.

"Although our data does not indicate that the currently used vaccine will be ineffective, the fact that we are witnessing an increasing diversity of toxin variants indicates that the vaccine and treatments targeting the toxin should be evaluated on a regular basis," he added.

"Antimicrobial resistance is rarely seen as a major problem in treating diphtheria, but in some parts of the world, bacterial genomes acquire resistance to many classes of antibiotics," said Dr. Pankaj Bhatnagar, of the World Health Organization's India office.

He added: "It is possible that there are a number of reasons for this, including exposure of bacteria to antibiotics in their environment or in patients who do not show symptoms and who are being treated for other infections."

"Genome sequencing gives us a powerful tool to monitor this in real time, allowing public health agencies to take action before it's too late," the experts said.

"We must not take our eyes off diphtheria, otherwise we risk becoming a major global threat again, and it is likely to be in a modified and better-adapted form," he noted.

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