Diphtheria is a rare cause of infection in highly vaccinated populations and may not be recognized by modern clinicians. Infections by nontoxigenic Corynebacterium diphtheriae are emerging. We report the first case of necrotizing epiglottitis secondary to nontoxigenic C diphtheriae. A fully vaccinated child developed fever, poor oral intake, and sore throat and was found to have necrotizing epiglottitis. Necrotizing epiglottitis predominantly occurs in the immunocompromised host. Laboratory evaluation revealed pancytopenia, and bone marrow biopsy was diagnostic for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Clinicians should be aware of aggressive infections that identify immunocompromised patients. This case highlights the features of a reemerging pathogen, C diphtheriae.
- Corynebacterium diphtheriae
- necrotizing epiglottitis
- immunocompromised host
- B-cell lymphoblastic leukemia
- Accepted April 14, 2015.
- Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Pediatrics