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An unusual case of post-trauma polymicrobial cutaneous diphtheria

  • Aishwarya Govindaswamy
  • Vivek Trikha
  • Anupam Gupta
  • Purva Mathur
  • Samarth MittalEmail author
Case Report


We report a rare case of post-traumatic cutaneous diphtheria in a patient referred from a hospital in rural India. The diagnosis of cutaneous diphtheria was confirmed by the isolation of Corynebacterium diphtheriae cultured from the ulcer of the leg, along with Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pyogenes, and Arcanobacterium haemolyticum. The patient was kept on isolation and treated with erythromycin for 14 days without antitoxin. He was discharged when his subsequent cultures turned out to be negative. Chemoprophylaxis was also given to his family members. Such a case highlights the revisiting of vaccination strategies and the role of cutaneous carriers in transmission of this deadly disease.


Corynebacterium diphtheria Cutaneous diphtheria Road traffic accident (RTA) Chemoprophylaxis MALDI-TOF MS 



This work did not require any external funding.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Ethical standards

A written consent was obtained from the patient for publication.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aishwarya Govindaswamy
    • 1
  • Vivek Trikha
    • 2
  • Anupam Gupta
    • 2
  • Purva Mathur
    • 1
  • Samarth Mittal
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Microbiology, Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma CentreAll India Institute of Medical SciencesNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Department of Orthopedics, Jai Prakash Narayan Apex Trauma CentreAll India Institute of Medical SciencesNew DelhiIndia

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