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Chancroid
  1. D A Lewis1,
  2. C A Ison2
  1. 1STI Reference Centre, National Institute for Communicable Diseases, Johannesburg, South Africa
  2. 2Sexually Transmitted Bacteria Reference Laboratory, Health Protection Agency Centre for Infections, Colindale, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor Catherine Ison
 Sexually Transmitted Bacteria Reference Laboratory, Health Protection Agency Centre for Infections, Colindale, London, UK; catherine.ison{at}hpa.org.uk

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Chancroid, caused by infection with Haemophilus ducreyi, is characterised by ano-genital ulceration and lymphadenitis with progression to bubo formation. The incubation period for this disease is short, around 3–10 days, and the initial lesion is a papule that may progress to form an ulcer through an intermediate pustular stage. It is a disease of resource poor settings and may be considered as a tropical sexually transmitted infection (STI). It is rare in the United Kingdom and the disease is almost always acquired overseas.

Testing, wherever possible, is recommended in all cases of ano-genital ulceration acquired overseas in areas of the world where chancroid is prevalent including Africa, Asia, Latin America, parts of the United States, and the Caribbean. The importance of asymptomatic carriage of H ducreyi is unclear and appropriate studies have yet to be performed.1,2

RECOMMENDED TESTS

Isolation of causative agent, H ducreyi

Material obtained from the undermined edge of the ano-genital ulcer, after removing superficial pus with a cotton tipped swab, is plated directly onto culture medium and incubated at 33°C, in high humidity with 5% carbon dioxide for …

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