What is the mortality and morbidity associated with 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 not a lethal disease and does not cause systemic infection, not even in individuals with HIV infection. [30] Even if left untreated, the genital lesion resolves spontaneously within 1-3 months. However, untreated infection can lead to development of painful inguinal lymphadenopathy, which can ulcerate to form buboes in 25% of cases. It is characterized by one or more painful genital ulcers that are associated with unilateral painful inguinal lymphadenopathy in approximately 50% of cases. Left untreated, suppurative bubo formation occurs in approximately 25% of cases, which can progress to spontaneous rupture with formation of a deep nonhealing inguinal ulcer.

Chancroid is easily curable with appropriate antibiotic therapy, although patients with HIV infection require longer courses of therapy. The true impact of the disease lies in the well-known association of genital ulcer disease with increased transmission rates of HIV and other STDs. Previous infection does not confer immunity against the disease, and reinfection is possible. [31] Patients with chancroid and HIV coinfection are more likely to experience multiple chronic genital ulcerations and inguinal lymphadenopathy. [32]

Superinfection of lesions, known as phagedenic chancroid, may lead to widespread disfiguring necrosis and may require surgical excision.

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