Experimental infection of human volunteers with Haemophilus ducreyi does not confer protection against subsequent challenge

J Infect Dis. 1999 May;179(5):1283-7. doi: 10.1086/314732.


Two groups of human volunteers were inoculated with 2 doses of live Haemophilus ducreyi 35000HP. The reinfection group consisted of 7 subjects who previously had participated in experimental infection with 35000HP to the pustular stage of disease. The control group consisted of 7 naive subjects. Papules developed at 92.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 66.1%-99.8%) of sites inoculated with live bacteria, in the reinfection group, and at 85.7% (95% CI, 57.2%-98. 2%) of sites in the control group. Sixty-nine percent (95% CI, 36. 8%-90.9%) of papules evolved into pustules in the reinfection group, compared with 41% (95% CI, 15.2%-72.3%) in the control group. The recovery rates of H. ducreyi from surface cultures and the histopathology of biopsies obtained from both groups were similar. Thus, experimental infection to the pustular stage of disease does not provide protective immunity against subsequent challenge.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Bacterial / blood
  • Chancroid / immunology*
  • Chancroid / microbiology
  • Chancroid / pathology*
  • Female
  • Haemophilus ducreyi / immunology*
  • Haemophilus ducreyi / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Male
  • Skin / microbiology
  • Skin / pathology


  • Antibodies, Bacterial