Asymptomatic carriage of Haemophilus ducreyi confirmed by the polymerase chain reaction

Genitourin Med. 1995 Aug;71(4):224-7. doi: 10.1136/sti.71.4.224.


Objective: To investigate asymptomatic carriage of Haemophilus ducreyi by using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on samples from women at high risk of infection.

Subjects: 213 commercial sex workers (CSWs) recruited in The Gambia, West Africa.

Methods: Genital samples (cervical, vaginal and ulcer) were tested for the presence of H ducreyi by PCR with the technique of "one tube nested primer".

Results: 12 CSWs were PCR positive for H ducreyi; 8 of these women had genital ulcers on examination.

Conclusion: Using a simplified PCR technique for detecting H ducreyi we have shown that 2% of CSWs were carrying the organism without clinical symptoms or signs. This has important implications for sexually transmitted disease control programmes in areas with a high prevalence of chancroid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Carrier State*
  • Chancroid / diagnosis*
  • Chancroid / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Gambia / epidemiology
  • Haemophilus ducreyi*
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prevalence
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sex Work