Corynebacterium Diphtheria

Corynebacterium Diphtheria:

The genus Corynebacterium has number of organisms and the main human pathogen is Corynebacterium diphtheria. It too contains harmless saprophytes found often on mucous membranes. Diphtheria is an infection of man which spreads directly from person to person. Spread is facilitated by intimate and constant contact with people harboring the organism. People harbor the organism subsequent to an attack of the disease as convalescen carrier. Diphtheria takes place due to the action of a potent toxin explained by the causative bacteria Corynebacterium Diphtheria. Resistance to the disease based on the availability of particular neutralizing antitoxin in the blood.

C. diphtheria:

This is a slender gram positive rod, non acid fast, non-spore forming, and 0.5 to 1µ in width x 1.5 to 5 µ in length. In stained smear individual cells set at sharp angles to one other in V & L shapes or Chinese letter formation. It is pleomorphic, club shaped, exhibits beaded forms as of the existence of metachromatic granules.

Growth characteristics:

This is aerobic, and generates waxy pellicle in liquid medium and minute, grayish white glistening colonies on Loffler’s coagulated serum medium. At Blood agar medium having tellurite, colonies are grey to black since tellurite is decreased intracellularly into tellurium.

Three kinds of C. diphtheria contain typical appearance.

1. Gravis type generates non hemolytic, large, irregular, grey, striated colonies.
2. Mitis type generates hemolytic, black, small, glossy convex colonies.
3. Intermedius type generates non hemolytic, small colonies among the two.

In Broth Gravis makes a pellicle Mitis grows diffusely and Intermedius settles as a granular settlement.


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