Outbreak of Corynebacterium diphtheriae among asylum seekers in Belgium in 2022: operational challenges and lessons learnt.

Last updated on 30-11-2023 by Lieke Vervoort

Public Access


Peer reviewed scientific article



Since 2022, European countries have been facing an outbreak of mainly cutaneous diphtheria caused by toxigenic among asylum seekers. In Belgium, between 1 March and 31 December 2022, 25 cases of toxigenic infection were confirmed among asylum seekers, mostly among young males from Afghanistan. Multi-locus sequence typing showed that most isolates belonged to sequence types 574 or 377, similar to the majority of cases in other European countries. The investigation and management of the outbreak, with many asylum seekers without shelter, required adjustments to case finding, contact tracing a…

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