Natural Source

Strains of Corynebacterium diphtheria that have been lysogenized by bacteriaphage β

Laboratory Source
Solid Lyophilized toxin
Characteristics DT is an exotoxin that inhibits eukaryotic protein synthesis by ADP-ribosylating an enlongation factor needed to translocate the ribosome along mRNA
Health Hazards
Route of Entry Nasopharyngeal and cutaneous
Signs and Symptoms 
DT can cause cranial, motor and sensory nerve palsies, myocarditis, and endocarditis
Toxicity Dose Data
LD50 = 0.1 μg/kg
Medical Precautions/Treatment


 Clinical symptoms of toxin mediated disease.
Prophylaxis Booster dose of diphtheria toxoid
Vaccines Immunization with diphtheria toxoid is typically combined with tetanus toxoid and the pertussis vaccine as DTP and administered to young children.
Treatment Administer antitoxin.
MSU Requirements

DT immunization and booster every 10 years.

Supplemental References
BMBL:5th Edition
Canadian MSDS
Containment Requirements
BSL2 Conduct all work with DT inside a biological safety cabinet
Spill Procedures
Small Notify others working in the lab. Remove and don new PPE. Cover area of the spill with absorbent material and add 10 % Bleach. Allow 30 minutes hour of contact time. After 30 minutes and then cleanup and dispose of materials.
Large For assistance, contact MSU's Biosafety Officer: Ryan Bartlett,, (406) 994-6733
or Safety and Risk Management (406-994- 2711).
Exposure Procedures
Mucous membrane
Flush eyes, mouth or nose for 5 minutes at eyewash station.
Other Exposures
Wash area with soap and water for 5 minutes.
Immediately report incident to supervisor, complete a first report of injury report, and submit to Safety and Risk Management.
Medical Follow-up
During business hours: Bridger Occupational Health 3406 Laramie Drive. Weekdays 8am -6pm.  Weekends 9am-5pm
After business hours: Bozeman Deaconess Hospital Emergency Room 915 Highland Blvd Bozeman, MT
Decontaminate surfaces with 10 % Bleach
Autoclave at 121oC for 1 hour on liquid cycle with lid of primary container loosened.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Minimum PPE Requirements

At minimum, gloves, closed toed shoes, lab coat, and appropriate face and eye protection prior to working with DT. Additional PPE may be required depending on lab specific SOPs.

Additional Precautions

When conducting procedures with a risk of toxin aerosol generation, respirators may be required. Fit testing and training is required. Fit testing and training is required annually per MSU' Respiratory Program