What is the global prevalence of chancroid?

Updated: Aug 05, 2019
  • Author: Joseph Adrian L Buensalido, MD; Chief Editor: Pranatharthi Haran Chandrasekar, MBBS, MD  more...
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Chancroid is still endemic in many areas of the world. No specific monitoring for this disease exists. The unavailability of diagnostic tests and facilities in resource-limited settings and the difficulty in isolating the organism are recognized factors that contribute to the underreporting of the disease. Therefore, the true incidence of chancroid at present worldwide is unavailable.

Data from the WHO in 1995 suggested that 7 million cases of chancroid existed worldwide. Globally, it has been surpassed by herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 2 as the most common genital ulcerative disease. Chancroid is prevalent in Africa, the Caribbean basin, and Southwest Asia. It is thought to be the most common cause of genital ulceration in Kenya, Gambia, and Zimbabwe. [24, 25, 26] Recently, the prevalence of chancroid decreased substantially in the Philippines, Senegal, and Thailand. This development was probably brought by joint programs against HIV/AIDS and related STDs in those areas. [27]

Local outbreaks in various parts of Europe have been reported. The Health Protection Agency in the United Kingdom reported 450 cases of chancroid from 1995-2000. From 1995-2005, 3% of genital ulcer cases from an STD clinic in Paris were due to chancroid. [28] The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control released a surveillance report on sexually transmitted infections in Europe from 1990-2010, and it was noted that the prevalence of chancroid had decreased dramatically, that some countries had no reported cases, and that some countries even stopped mandatory notifications. [29]

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