Skip To Main Content
This website is intended exclusively for the Registered Medical Practitioners in India.

A study on the characteristics and outcomes of reported diphtheria patients in a western state in India

In many developing countries, diphtheria is a major public health issue which is caused by Corynebacterium diphtheria. The morbidity and mortality of diphtheria have decreased with the development of vaccinations and the inclusion of the diphtheria vaccine in universal vaccination programs. A descriptive retrospective analysis was carried out in Gujarat, a western state of India, by using the data of district-wise reported cases of diphtheria in the DPT monitoring program format during 2020–2021.

Read more to know about this study and the impact of vaccination on morbidity and mortality caused by diphtheria.


The incidence of diphtheria cases has declined significantly from 1,00,000 cases in 1980 to 2500 in 2015 globally. India contributed to half of the diphtheria cases reported globally from 2001 to 2015. The disease has higher case mortality and morbidity rate due to various geographic-specific factors. The current study aims to outline the characteristics and outcomes of the diphtheria-reported patients of Gujarat, a western state of India.


A record-based, descriptive retrospective study was undertaken in the western state of India by analyzing district-wise reported diphtheria cases in diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DPT) surveillance program format during 2020-2021.


Out of 446, most patients were reported from selected geographies of Gujarat state in 2020-2021. The 424 (95%) reported cases were from 0-14 years of age. Only 9(2%) subjects had a travel history, and 369 (82.7%) patients were reported from rural areas. The time trend analysis showed that 339 (76%) patients were reported from September to December. The case-fatality ratio was 5.4%, and 300 (67.2%)cases didn’t take the DPT(DPT3)/pentavalent 3rd dose vaccine and subsequent doses during their lifetime, emphasizing the role of the vaccine in preventing diphtheria disease.


Increased vaccination coverage and completing all doses of the DPT vaccine are crucial to avert deaths due to diphtheria. An effective surveillance system will aid in early disease detection and provide more information on the factors that lead to disease occurrence for prompt action by the authority.

For more details on the article

Click here


  1.  Boghani S, Shah HD, Fancy M, et al. A Study on the Characteristics and Outcomes of Reported Diphtheria Patients in a Western State in India. Cureus. 2023 Mar 4;15(3):e35769. doi: 10.7759/cureus.35769. PMID: 37025722; PMCID: PMC10072171.