Host-pathogen interplay of Haemophilus ducreyi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Haemophilus ducreyi, the causative agent of the sexually transmitted infection chancroid, is primarily a pathogen of human skin. During infection, H. ducreyi thrives extracellularly in a milieu of professional phagocytes and other antibacterial components of the innate and adaptive immune responses. This review summarizes our understanding of the interplay between this pathogen and its host that leads to development and persistence of disease. RECENT FINDINGS: H. ducreyi expresses key virulence mechanisms to resist host defenses. The secreted LspA proteins are tyrosine-phosphorylated by host kinases, which may contribute to their antiphagocytic effector function. The serum resistance and adherence functions of DsrA map to separate domains of this multifunctional virulence factor. An influx transporter protects H. ducreyi from killing by the antimicrobial peptide LL37. Regulatory genes have been identified that may coordinate virulence factor expression during disease. Dendritic cells and natural killer cells respond to H. ducreyi and may be involved in determining the differential outcomes of infection observed in humans. SUMMARY: A human model of H. ducreyi infection has provided insights into virulence mechanisms that allow this human-specific pathogen to survive immune pressures. Components of the human innate immune system may also determine the ultimate fate of H. ducreyi infection by driving either clearance of the organism or an ineffective response that allows disease progression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-69
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2010


Haemophilus ducreyi
Haemophilus Infections
Virulence Factors
Adaptive Immunity
Regulator Genes
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Innate Immunity
Natural Killer Cells
Dendritic Cells
Disease Progression
Immune System


  • Chancroid
  • Differential host susceptibility
  • Haemophilus ducreyi
  • Human model
  • Immunopathogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Host-pathogen interplay of Haemophilus ducreyi. / Janowicz, Diane; Li, Wei; Bauer, Margaret.

In: Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases, Vol. 23, No. 1, 02.2010, p. 64-69.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

title = "Host-pathogen interplay of Haemophilus ducreyi",
abstract = "Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.",
keywords = "Chancroid, Differential host susceptibility, Haemophilus ducreyi, Human model, Immunopathogenesis",
author = "Diane Janowicz and Wei Li and Margaret Bauer",
year = "2010",
month = "2",
doi = "10.1097/QCO.0b013e328334c0cb",
language = "English",
volume = "23",
pages = "64--69",
journal = "Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases",
issn = "0951-7375",
publisher = "Lippincott Williams and Wilkins",
number = "1",



T1 - Host-pathogen interplay of Haemophilus ducreyi

AU - Janowicz, Diane

AU - Li, Wei

AU - Bauer, Margaret

PY - 2010/2

Y1 - 2010/2

N2 - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

AB - Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

KW - Chancroid

KW - Differential host susceptibility

KW - Haemophilus ducreyi

KW - Human model

KW - Immunopathogenesis

UR -

UR -

U2 - 10.1097/QCO.0b013e328334c0cb

DO - 10.1097/QCO.0b013e328334c0cb

M3 - Article

C2 - 19918177

AN - SCOPUS:74249092659

VL - 23

SP - 64

EP - 69

JO - Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases

JF - Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases

SN - 0951-7375

IS - 1

ER -