([dagger]) Contact the duty officer for diphtheria antitoxin
, telephone, 404-639-8257, 8 a.m.
A DAT product (i.e., Diphtheria Antitoxin
, Pasteur Merieux, Lyon, France), licensed in Europe and similar to the previously licensed U.S.
Patients with severe diphtheria are at high risk for complications or death; therefore, to reduce morbidity and mortality, diphtheria antitoxin should be administered promptly based on the clinical presentation and presumptive diagnosis.
Suspected cases should be reported to local public health authorities; diphtheria antitoxin is available from CDC's Child Vaccine Preventable Disease Branch, Epidemiology and Surveillance Division, National Immunization Program, telephone (404) 639-8255, Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Treatment comprised 80,000 IU of diphtheria antitoxin
and a course of parenteral penicillin.
Linear regression analysis was used to study the persistence of diphtheria antitoxin antibodies after full immunization in the national immunization program.
Age-Specific Immunity Levels to Diphtheria Antitoxin
The toxin inhibition test used to measure diphtheria antitoxin concentrations shows good correlation with the in vitro neutralization test in Vero cells, but is faster, simpler, and combines the measurement of diphtheria and tetanus antitoxin antibodies (8,9).
The sharp increase in the percentage of persons older than 44 years with no protective diphtheria antitoxin levels is consistent with findings of other studies (4,11,12,14-19).
However, relatively few 30- to 34-year-old persons (4.3%) who received their last vaccination approximately 25 years ago had a diphtheria antitoxin level of less than 0.01 IU/ml.
The patient was treated with parenteral penicillin and diphtheria antitoxin
. His condition improved after 6 days of therapy.
As director of this laboratory, Smith undertook many practical and theoretical studies on the production of tetanus and diphtheria antitoxins
. He was one of the first to demonstrate the production of immunity by killed cultures of disease organisms and to show that a mixture of diphtheria toxin and antitoxin confers immunity.