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Granuloma Inguinale

Sexually Transmitted Disease Facts

Type of Infection: Granuloma Inguinale (also known as Donovanosis) is caused by Calymmatobacterium granulomatis (formerly known as Donovania granulomatis), a bacteria.

Prevalence of Granuloma Inguinale: Granuloma inguinale is rare in the United States. However, it is common in certain less developed countries, including India, Papua New Guinea, Central Australia, and Southern Africa.

Symptoms of Granuloma Inguinale: Initially, single or multiple slightly elevated lesions appear under the skin at the site of infection. These become heaped ulcers that are painless, bleed on contact, and enlarge slowly. The ulcers can spread.

Treatment of Granuloma Inguinale: The infection can be cured with at least 3 weeks of treatment by antibiotics. However, it cannot undo the damage done prior to treatment.

Possible Consequences of Granuloma Inguinale for the Infected Person: Lesions may become secondarily infected. Fibrous, keloid-like formations may cause the genitals to become deformed. Extreme enlargement of the labia, penis, or scrotum will then occur. Necrosis (tissue death) and destruction of the genitals can result.

Prevention of Granuloma Inguinale: Abstaining from sexual contact with an infected person is the only 100% effective means of prevention. Latex or polyurethane condoms can reduce but not eliminate the risk of contracting granuloma inguinale.

Source of Information: JM Marrazzo, F Guest, W Cates, "Reproductive Tract Infections," In Hatcher et al, Contraceptive Technology, Ardent Media, 2007.
Photo Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of STD Prevention, "Chancroid," STD Clinical Slides, 2003, www.cdc.gov/std/training/clinicalslides.