It is a bacterial infection caused by the bacteria Haemophilus ducreyi. It attacks the tissue and produces an open sore referred to as a chancroid or an ulcer. The ulcer may bleed or produce a contagious fluid that can spread the bacteria. According to Medline plus the infection is found in most parts of the world particularly Africa and South West Asia.

Electron micrograph image showing the bacteria Haemophilus ducreyi

 

How it is spread
• Spread during oral, vaginal or anal sex
• Also, spread from skin to skin contact with infected person
Symptoms
Within one day to two weeks of infection, a person will get a small bump in the genital which may develop into an ulcer within a day when it first appears. The ulcer ranges from1/8 inch to 2 inches in diameter. It is painful, soft and has sharply defined borders. It also has a base that is covered by a gray or yellowish-gray material. The base bleeds easily if banged or scraped. Most of the infected men usually have only one ulcer but the majority of women have four or more ulcers. The ulcers appear in specific locations
In men common locations include:
• Foreskin
• Groove behind the head of the penis
• Shaft, head or opening of the penis
In women common locations include:
• Outer lips of the vagina. Kissing ulcers may occur-referring to those that occur on opposite sides of the labia
• Inner vagina lips(labia minora)-may cause pain during urination and intercourse
                                                                 

                             Images respectively showing female and male with chancroid
Half of the people infected with chancroid develop enlarged inguinal lymph nodes located in the fold between the leg and the lower abdomen. In some cases, the nodes break through the skin causing draining abscesses also called buboes.
The image on the left shows large buboes being drained by a medical expert

 

Treatment
It is diagnosed through a check-up by a certified health provider. Diagnosis is done by looking at the ulcer and checking for swollen lymph nodes. Samples of fluid from the ulcer may be taken to the laboratory for testing. The infection is treated with antibiotics and large lymph node swellings drained either with a needle or local surgery.
Prevention
• Abstinence is the best prevention strategy, however, safe sex behavior reduces risk of infection
• Proper condom use
• Limit amount of sexual partners
• Avoiding high-risk activities that put you at risk of infection
• Alerting all sexual partners if you get the infection
• In men, circumcision reduces chances of infection

 

 

 

References
Chancroid. U.S National Library of Medicine. Removed from: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000635.htm
Macon. L. B (2012 July 18) Chancroid. C 2015 Healthline Networks. Inc. Removed from: http://www.healthline.com/health/chancroid#ReadThisNext8
What is chancroid? STD. Removed from: http://www.std-gov.org/stds/chancroid.htm
Chancroid. (2015 November 19) MedlinePlus. U.S National Library of Medicine. Retrieved from: https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000635.htm
Chancroid. Centre for Disease Control. U.S Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from: http://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/chancroid.htm
Chancroid. (2013 February) Public Health Agency of Canada. Retrieved from: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/std-mts/sti-its/cgsti-ldcits/section-5-1-eng.php