Is diphtheria evolving into a superbug?

With COVID-19 vaccination rolling out in Australia little more than a year after the novel coronavirus was declared a pandemic, one could be forgiven for thinking it’s unlikely there’ll be another ‘once-in-a-generation’ infectious diseases crisis any time soon.

However, in what might come as a rude shock to many, researchers from India and the UK are warning that a highly contagious and rapidly evolving ‘old’ bacterium deserves our attention: Corynebacterium diphtheriae.

Although sporadic outbreaks of diphtheria in