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Vaccine. 2009 Jun 24;27(31):4196-200. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.04.048. Epub 2009 May 5.

Diphtheria: a zoonotic disease in France?

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Institut de veille sanitaire, 12 rue du Val d'Osne, 94415 St Maurice, France.


Thanks to vaccination, diphtheria has almost disappeared in France. The case definition, used for mandatory notification, was expanded in 2003 to include toxin-producing strains of Corynebacterium ulcerans. We describe the epidemiology of diphtheria in France from 1990 to 2008. No cases occurred between 1990 and 2001. Since 2002, 19 cases have been reported: 4 cases due to Corynebacterium diphtheriae related to exposure in endemic countries, and 15 cases due to other corynebacteria, including 4 cases of pseudomembranous pharyngitis, mainly related to contact with domestic animals. High vaccination coverage in the population and sensitive surveillance need to be maintained. Moreover, control measures need to be adapted to the non-C. diphtheriae toxigenic species.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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