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Haemophilus ducreyi (Chancroid)
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sexual transmission p. 180
Haemophilus ducreyi is a Gram-negative coccobacillus, which means that shape-wise, it’s somewhere between a spherical coccus and a rod-like bacillus.
Now, Haemophilus ducreyi has a thin peptidoglycan layer, so it doesn’t retain the crystal violet dye used during Gram staining.
Instead, like any other Gram-negative bacteria, it stains pink with safranin dye.
So, under the microscope, the bacteria look like short or relatively long pink rods with rounded ends, that usually grow in chains, so they’re sometimes compared to a “school of fish”.
Now, Haemophilus ducreyi is: non-motile, so it doesn’t move / facultatively anaerobic, which means it can survive in both aerobic and anaerobic environments / oxidase positive which means it produces an enzyme called oxidase / and catalase negative, which means it doesn’t produce an enzyme called catalase.
They’re fastidious bacteria that only grow in a CO2 environment, at a temperature between 33 and 35 degrees Celsius, and it forms small, grey or translucent colonies.
Now, Haemophilus ducreyi enters the body through mucosal and skin breaks and has a number of virulence factors, that are like assault weaponry that help it attack and destroy the host cells, and evade the immune system.
Now, Haemophilus ducreyi is encapsulated, so it has a polysaccharide layer called a capsule, that acts like a shield, protecting the bacteria against phagocytic cells like macrophages and neutrophils.
On the capsule there are fimbria-like proteins, such as Flp1, Flp2 and Flp3 and uses them to attach to subcutaneous epithelial cells and fibroblasts.
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