Stuart's, Amies' and four thioglycollate/hemin-based media containing, respectively, selenium dioxide and albumin (SA); selenium dioxide, L-glutamine and albumin (SGA); selenium dioxide and L-glutamine (SG); and L-glutamine and albumin (GA); were evaluated as transport media for Haemophilus ducreyi in a simulated, laboratory-based study. No transport medium was able to maintain the viability of H. ducreyi for more than 24 hours at room temperature. Amies' transport medium, however, maintained viability of H. ducreyi for up to 3 days and all the newly formulated transport media maintained viability of H. ducreyi for more than 4 days at 4 degrees C. Subsequently, swabs were taken from cases of genital ulcerations with a diagnosis of chancroid, plated directly onto selective media, and held at 4 degrees C in the two most efficient transport media (SGA and GA) for various periods of time. On direct plating, H. ducreyi was recovered from the genital ulcerations of 110 of 156 (71%) patients. The rates of recovery of H. ducreyi from transport media stored at 4 degrees C decreased with time. Although recovery was enhanced at day 4 (117/110 [106%]) using both SGA and GA, a recovery rate of 37/41 (90%) was obtained after storage in GA for 1 week.