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What is a CDIP infection?

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A CDIP infection refers to a disease linked to the bacterium Corynebacterium diphtheriae, which causes different forms of diphtheria. This infectious disease is transmitted by an infected individual via the respiratory tract or by coming into contact with objects that have the bacteria on them, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although diphtheria was once the cause of many deaths, cases of this disease are rare today due to the early vaccination of children.

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Diphtheria can affect both the respiratory tract and skin. These different forms of this disease are referred to as respiratory and cutaneous diphtheria, as stated by Mayo Clinic Medical Laboratories. The cutaneous type can cause the formation of skin sores or lesions.

When patients are infected with Corynebacterium diphtheriae, it also can produce toxins in the respiratory tract that leads to the formation of a coating in the throat and nose areas, states the National Institutes of Health's MedlinePlus. This can lead to difficulty in breathing and swallowing. Some other symptoms associated with diphtheria are fever, inflamed neck lymph nodes, coughing, drooling and overall body weakness.

To diagnose this disease, tests that can be utilized are a gram stain or toxin assay test. A CDIP or Corynebacterium diphtheriae culture, which requires a swap specimen from the throat, also may be used, as noted by Mayo Clinic Medical Laboratories. Treatment for diphtheria includes administering an antitoxin followed by an antibiotic.

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