Chancroid, or ulcus molle, is an acute, inflammatory, destructive ulcer characterized by very slight induration and moderate pain on palpation. It is caused by venereal inoculation with Hemophilus ducreyi and occurs usually on the genitals or the surrounding skin. Other areas may also be involved, usually as a result of autoinoculation.
The causative agent was first described by Augusto Ducrey in 1889 and is found in the purulent discharge from the surface of the lesions. It is a small nonmotile, non-spore bearing, non-acid fast, gram negative bacillus measuring from 1 to 2 microns in length and about 0.5 micron in thickness. It appears as a short rod and may be arranged in pairs, groups or chains lying parallel to one another. Several other forms may be assumed including a parallel "school of fish" arrangement. It may be intracellular or extracellular in position.
Variations in staining characteristics have been described by
SATULSKY EM. MANAGEMENT OF CHANCROID IN A TROPICAL THEATER: REPORT OF 1,555 CASES. JAMA. 1945;127(5):259–263. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860050007002
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