A temperature-dependent rabbit model for production of dermal lesions by Haemophilus ducreyi

Bret K. Purcell, James A. Richardson, Justin D. Radolf, Eric J. Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


The fact that optimal in vitro growth of Haemophilus ducreyi occurs at 33°C prompted evaluation of the effect of temperature on the ability of this organism to produce skin lesions in rabbits after intradermal inoculation. Animals housed at a reduced ambient temperature (15-17°C) consistently developed necrotic lesions when injected intradermally with 105 cfu of H. ducreyi; this inoculum did not produce necrotic lesions in animals housed at normal room temperature (23-25°C). Lesion production in this new model was dependent on both viability of the H. ducreyi inoculum and replication of these organisms after intradermal injection. Histopathologic examination of the lesions revealed that H. ducreyi infection of the rabbit dermis evolves from an acute inflammatory reaction to abscess formation. Evaluation of three additional strains of H. ducreyi in this model confirmed that lesion formation was not bacterial strain-dependent. This new temperature-dependent rabbit model for productive H. ducreyi infection will facilitate investigation of the molecular pathogenesis of chancroid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-367
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Infectious Diseases


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