DONOVANOSIS (GRANULOMA INGUINALE) – DEFINITION AND DIAGNOSIS
Donovanosis is a mildly contagious, chronic progressively destructive infection caused by Calymmatobacterium granulomatis, a gram-negative, oval bacillus in which polar bodies are often prominent. The organism develops intracellularly and is difficult to culture. This disease occurs in tropical countries including Papua New Guinea and, although uncommon in Australia, appears to be endemic in Aboriginal people in northern and central parts of the country.
Donovanosis should be distinguished from other causes of genital ulceration including syphilis, chancroid, lymphogranuloma venereum, severe herpes, cutaneous amoebiasis and anogenital neoplasm by appropriate tests. The diagnosis is established by the demonstration of С granulomatis in smears from scrapings or biopsies from lesions. Smears can be made by pressing a clean glass slide on the cut surface of a biopsy. The organisms can be identified as bipolar rods in large mononuclear cells and are best seen in giemsa-stained smears.
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