RICHARD V. McCLOSKEY, M.D., F.A.C.P.; MARTHALYN J. GREEN, M.D.; ELLER JERRY, M.D.; SMILACK JERRY, M.D., F.A.C.P.
Asymptomatic carriers of toxinogenic Corynebacterium diphtheriae were treated by either a single injection of benzathine penicillin or a 7-day oral course of erythromycin or clindamycin. Nasopharyngeal cultures were obtained from all carriers before treatment and after therapy was started. The carrier state was terminated in 84% of those receiving benzathine penicillin, 92% of those receiving erythromycin, and 93% of those receiving clindamycin. These results differ from our previously reported 1-year study. Benzathine penicillin could be used, however, to treat diphtheria carriers when patients cannot be relied upon to complete a 7-day course of oral therapy. Clindamycin is an alternate antibiotic that will terminate the diphtheria carrier state. There was no change in the sensitivity of C. diphtheriae to penicillin or erythromycin in those whose carrier state persisted.
McCLOSKEY RV, GREEN MJ, JERRY E, et al. Treatment of Diphtheria Carriers: Benzathine Penicillin, Erythromycin, and Clindamycin. Ann Intern Med. 1974;81:788–791. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-81-6-788
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1974;81(6):788-791.
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