Epidemiology, clinical features, diagnosis and treatment of Haemophilus ducreyi - a disappearing pathogen?

Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2014 Jun;12(6):687-96. doi: 10.1586/14787210.2014.892414. Epub 2014 Mar 6.


Chancroid, caused by Haemophilus ducreyi, has declined in importance as a sexually transmitted pathogen in most countries where it was previously endemic. The global prevalence of chancroid is unknown as most countries lack the required laboratory diagnostic capacity and surveillance systems to determine this. H. ducreyi has recently emerged as a cause of chronic skin ulceration in some South Pacific islands. Although no antimicrobial susceptibility data for H. ducreyi have been published for two decades, it is still assumed that the infection will respond successfully to treatment with recommended cephalosporin, macrolide or fluoroquinolone-based regimens. HIV-1-infected patients require careful follow-up due to reports of treatment failure with single dose regimens. Buboes may need additional treatment with either aspiration or excision and drainage.

Keywords: HIV-1; Haemophilus ducreyi; azithromycin; ceftriaxone; chancroid; ciprofloxacin; erythromycin; genital ulcer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cephalosporins / therapeutic use
  • Chancroid / diagnosis
  • Chancroid / drug therapy
  • Chancroid / epidemiology*
  • Chancroid / therapy
  • Female
  • Fluoroquinolones / therapeutic use
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • HIV-1 / physiology*
  • Haemophilus ducreyi / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Macrolides / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Treatment Failure


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Cephalosporins
  • Fluoroquinolones
  • Macrolides