Primarily a sexually transmitted infection that is most common in resource-poor countries. Rare in North America and Europe.
Caused by the fastidious, gram-negative coccobacillus Haemophilus ducreyi. Classically presents with the acute onset of a painful genital ulcer, and often associated with fluctuant lymphadenitis (bubo formation).
An important co-factor in HIV transmission. HIV status must be assessed.
Most cases resolve with antibiotic therapy; recurrence is rare.
Sexual partners within 10 days prior to onset of symptoms must be traced and treated, even if asymptomatic.
Several reports now describe non-genital cutaneous limb ulcerations due to H ducreyi in yaws-endemic countries.
Chancroid is an infectious disease caused by the fastidious, gram-negative coccobacillus Haemophilus ducreyi, most commonly presenting with a painful genital ulcer, and often associated with fluctuant lymphadenitis.
History and exam
- Gram stain of ulcer swabs and bubo aspirates
- culture of ulcer swabs or bubo aspirates
- Haemophilus ducreyi PCR
- syphilis serology (FTA-ABS test, Treponema pallidum particle agglutination [TPPA], treponemal enzyme immunoassay [EIA])
- RPR test
- HSV PCR and viral cultures
- HIV test
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Infectious Diseases
University of Rochester Medical Center
TB declares that she has no competing interests.
Dr Tara Babu would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr Marguerite A. Urban and Dr Christina Bailey, previous contributors to this topic. MAU and CB declare that they have no competing interests.
GUM/HIV Camden Primary Care Trust
Archway Sexual Health Clinic
EJ declares that she has no competing interests.
Assistant Research Professor in Medicine
Indiana University Department of Medicine
School of Medicine
DMJ declares that she has no competing interests.
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