Adult cutaneous diphtheria in Poland – a case report and literature overview
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Department of Surgical Nursing and Propaedeutics of Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Department of Oncological Surgery, Faculty of Medical Sciences in Zabrze, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Corresponding author
Jakub Fick   

Department of Surgical Nursing and Propaedeutics of Surgery, Faculty of Health Sciences in Katowice, Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland, ul. Żeromskiego 7, 41-902 Bytom
Ann. Acad. Med. Siles. 2023;77:146–150
All the followed procedures were in accordance with the ethical standards of the responsible committee on human experimentation (institutional and national) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000. Informed consent was obtained from the patient for being included in the study.
Corynebacterium diphtheriae (C. diphtheriae) is the primary pathogen causing diphtheria, which basically exists in two forms: nasopharyngeal and cutaneous. According to a commonly introduced vaccination programme against diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus (DPT), the incidence of diphtheria has significantly dropped around the world, in some areas disappearing almost completely. However nowadays, we observe the reappearance of diphtheria, especially the cutaneous form, even in countries with very high vaccination rates due to the increasing migration from countries with a lower level of vaccinated citizens. We present a case study of a Ukrainian immigrant diagnosed with cutaneous diphtheria to raise the awareness of the medical community about this returning disease, its cutaneous form and new medical challenges connected to it. It has been the first reported case of C. diphtheriae infection in Poland since 2005. We analysed the most recent articles available in PubMed and Google Scholar databases using criterion keywords such as: “diphtheria case”, “diphtheria case report”, “cutaneous diphtheria”. We selected the most suitable out of approximately 1,700 articles. The presented case report and analysis of scientific publications on cutaneous diphtheria show the importance of this form of the disease in the modern, post-vaccination era. We claim that the importance of vaccination, self-protection during contact with patients, and awareness of the risks of the medical environment are becoming even more important.
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interests regarding the publication of this paper.
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