<< Prices and methods of distribution of diphtheria antitoxin
>>, The Canada Lancet, vol.
Neutralization potency of DAT obtained from human plasma should be assigned according to the Vero cell cytotoxicity assay and the guinea pig lethality model; the 1st International Standard for Diphtheria Antitoxin
Human should be used as the reference antitoxin (National Institute for Biological Standards and Control code 10/262).
In the United States, diphtheria antitoxin
is available only through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and should be given as soon as possible after diagnosis of diphtheria or suspected diphtheria (2,18).
The patient continued to receive multiple antibiotics, including penicillin, vancomycin, and gentamicin; diphtheria antitoxin
(DAT) was administered on the ninth day of illness.
In addition to the potential for missed or late diagnoses, in areas where diphtheria is not endemic, diphtheria antitoxin
treatment is not always available, which can have serious consequences.
As of January 1997, diphtheria antitoxin
is no longer commercially available in the United States but may be obtained for treatment of suspected cases of diphtheria through the medical epidemiology staff of CDC's Child Vaccine Preventable Disease Branch, Epidemiology and Surveillance Division, National Immunization Program, telephone (404) 639-2889 (6).
Because the patient's condition was stable and no severe complications occurred during her hospital stay, she was not given diphtheria antitoxin
. Her predominant symptoms, such as sore throat and earache, improved after antimicrobial drug therapy, and she recovered quickly.
Although diphtheria is a rare disease in the United States, access to diphtheria antitoxin
(DAT) is essential to ensure effective treatment of a case.
Because of the extensive oropharyngeal pseudomembranes, diphtheria was suspected and diphtheria antitoxin
(30,000 IU) was administered intramuscularly.
Based on the history and physical findings, a preliminary diagnosis of acute membranous pharyngitis consistent with respiratory diphtheria was made, and 40,000 international units (IU) of equine diphtheria antitoxin
was administered on the evening of October 27.
She was treated with 9000 international units IU) of equine diphtheria antitoxin
, antibiotics, and prednisone.
Joseph Kinyoun, the founder of the Hygienic Laboratory--predecessor of the National Institutes of Health--learned the procedure for preparing diphtheria antitoxin
at the Pasteur Institute in Paris.