Clinical Management of Diphtheria

Publication Date: February 2, 2024
Last Updated: February 13, 2024

Summary of Recommendations

In patients with suspected or confirmed diphtheria, WHO recommends using macrolide antibiotics (azithromycin, erythromycin) in preference to penicillin antibiotics. (S, L )
  • Antibiotics should be administered alongside DAT and should not be delayed.
  • Recent evidence suggests that there is increasing resistance to penicillins and less resistance to macrolide antibiotics. Local antimicrobial susceptibility testing is vital to ensure the ongoing appropriate use of antibiotics.
  • The choice of macrolide will depend on availability and feasibility.



Clinical Management of Diphtheria

Authoring Organization