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chancroid:see sexually transmitted diseasesexually transmitted disease
(STD) or venereal disease,
term for infections acquired mainly through sexual contact. Five diseases were traditionally known as venereal diseases: gonorrhea, syphilis, and the less common granuloma inguinale, lymphogranuloma venereum, and
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(soft chancre; also called venereal ulcer in Russian), an infectious disease in man, caused by the streptobacillus Hemophilus ducreyi, or Ducrey’s bacillus (described in the late 1880’s and early 1890’s by the Russian O. V. Petersen, the Italian A. Ducrey, and the German P. Unna) and transmitted mainly through sexual intercourse.
The causative agent of chancroid is found in the discharge from the chancre; under a microscope it looks like a short rod with rounded ends and a slender middle. Two to five days after infection, a pustule forms over a bright red edematous spot at the site of entry of the infection; the pustule opens three or four days later and becomes a small painful ulcer with ragged edges, undermined by a purulent deposit and with a soft base encircled by a red edematous rim. The purulent discharge from such ulcers reaches the surrounding tissues and gives rise to numerous new ulcerations, which become scarred after a month or two. When the streptobacilli penetrate the regional lymphatic nodes, the latter become enlarged (bubo formation); they coalesce and fuse with the skin, soften, and open to form ulcers. The process is accompanied by local pain, high temperature, and general malaise.
Treatment includes the use of antibacterial agents and immersion of the affected area in a warm manganese bath. (SeeVENEREAL DISEASES for a description of preventive measures.)