Men are more susceptible than women to pustule formation in the experimental model of Haemophilus ducreyi infection

Sex Transm Dis. 2002 Feb;29(2):114-8. doi: 10.1097/00007435-200202000-00009.


Background: Naturally occurring chancroid is usually more prevalent in men than in women.

Goal: To examine whether there were gender differences in susceptibility to Haemophilus ducreyi infection by analyzing the papule and pustule formation rates for men and women who were experimentally inoculated with Haemophilus ducreyi.

Study design: Ninety volunteers were included in the analysis. A total of 189 sites were available for estimation of the papule formation rate, and 166 sites for estimation of the pustule formation rates using logistic regression modeling.

Results: Although there were no gender differences in papule formation rates, the women had significantly lower rates of pustule formation than the men after adjustment for the estimated delivered dose.

Conclusions: In women the disease will resolve and not progress to the pustular stage of disease as often as in men. The high male-to-female ratio in naturally occurring chancroid may in part reflect biological differences in gender susceptibility to disease progression, although the mechanisms responsible for this difference are unclear.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Chancroid / microbiology*
  • Chancroid / pathology
  • Disease Progression*
  • Female
  • Haemophilus ducreyi / pathogenicity*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Sex Factors