Emergence of an invasive clone of nontoxigenic Corynebacterium diphtheriae in the urban poor population of Vancouver, Canada

M. G. Romney*, D. L. Roscoe, K. Bernard, S. Lai, A. Efstratiou, A. M. Clarke

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Invasive disease due to Corynebacterium diphtheriae is rare in North America. Here we describe the emergence of a predominant clone of a nontoxigenic strain of C. diphtheriae in the impoverished population of Vancouver's downtown core. This clone has caused significant morbidity and contributed to at least two deaths. Over a 5-year period, seven cases of bacteremia due to C. diphtheriae were detected in patients admitted to Vancouver hospitals. Injection drug use, diabetes mellitus, skin colonization/infection with C. diphtheriae, and homelessness all appeared to be related to the development of bacteremia with the organism. Ribotyping of isolates recovered from blood culture revealed a predominant ribotype pattern that has not previously been reported in North America.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1625-1629
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Volume44
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2006

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