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January 1996

Chancroid Detected by Polymerase Chain Reaction—Jackson, Mississippi, 1994-1995

Arch Dermatol. 1996;132(1):17-18. doi:10.1001/archderm.1996.03890250019003

CHANCROID IS a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by infection with Haemophilus ducreyi and is characterized by genital ulceration. Chancroid is underreported in the United States,1 reflecting, in part, difficulties in diagnosis because of clinical similarities between chancroid and other ulcerative STDs. In addition, laboratory confirmation by culture is 53%-84% sensitive and often is unavailable in clinical settings.2 In September 1994, clinicians at the District V STD clinic of the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) in Jackson reported examining patients with genital ulcers characteristic of chancroid but lacked capacity to confirm the diagnosis. To determine the cause of the ulcers, MSDH, in conjunction with CDC, conducted an investigation of all patients with genital ulcers examined at the Jackson STD clinic during October 20, 1994-February 1, 1995. This report summarizes the findings of the investigation.

Swab specimens were obtained from the genital ulcers of all patients examined at

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