Granuloma inguinale, also known as Donovanosis, is a sexually transmitted bacterial disease caused by intracellular gram-negative bacterium Klebsiella granulomatis. Infection is prevalent in developing countries and men are affected twice as often as women.
The genitals are affected in 90% of cases and the groin area in the remaining 10%. The disease presents clinically as painless, progressive, ulcerative lesions without regional lymphadenopathy (i.e. swelling of one or more lymph nodes (also called lymph glands)). The lesions are highly vascular (i.e. have a beefy red appearance) and bleed easily on contact.
Anal intercourse is believed to be the primary mode of transmission. About 50% of infected men and women have lesions in the anal area.
Untreated, the disease may result in mutilation and destruction of the genital tissue.
Last updated: 22 September 2010