Health protection – collection

Diphtheria: guidance, data and analysis

The diagnosis, vaccination, surveillance epidemiology of diphtheria.

Diphtheria is an acute infectious disease of humans that affects the upper respiratory tract and occasionally the skin, caused by the action of diphtheria toxin produced by toxigenic Corynebacterium diphtheriae or by Corynebacterium ulcerans.

Diphtheria is a vaccine preventable disease. The routine childhood immunisation schedule includes vaccination against diphtheria.

For symptoms and general information on diphtheria, visit NHS Choices.

It is a notifiable disease in England and Wales. Health professionals must inform local health protection teams of suspected cases.

Diagnosis and management

  1. Diphtheria: public health control and management in England and Wales

    • Guidance
  2. Diphtheria: control and management

    • Guidance
  3. Diphtheria: laboratory guidelines for diagnosis

    • Guidance
  4. Immunoglobulin: when to use

    • Guidance
  5. Vaccine preventable bacteria section request form

    • Form


  1. Diphtheria: the green book, chapter 15

    • Guidance

Data collection

  1. Diphtheria: surveillance form for follow up

    • Form

Epidemiology and surveillance

Public Health England supports the Diphtheria Surveillance Network (DIPNET) as a surveillance network across Europe.

Immunisation coverage: completed primary courses at 2 years of age in England and Wales from 1966 to 1977, England only from 1978 onwards.

  1. Diphtheria: notifications and deaths, England and Wales

    • Research and analysis
  2. Diphtheria: isolates of toxigenic corynebacteria

    • Detailed guide
  3. Diphtheria: laboratory isolates of C. diphtheriae and C. ulcerans

    • Detailed guide