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  • Conditions where Contact Tracing is Recommended:
  • Donovanosis


Causative organism Klebsiella granulomatis
Incubation period Weeks to months
How far to trace back Weeks to months, according to sexual history
Usual testing method Diagnosis is often made clinically after excluding syphilis; definitive diagnosis requires histology of punch biopsy specimen showing characteristic Donovan bodies or positive nucleic acid amplification testing. Nucleic acid amplification testing maybe performed on surface swab specimens and obviates need for biopsy.
Common symptoms

Relatively painless granulomatous ano-genital lesions
Perineum commonly involved with associated ‘pseudo-buboes’ in inguinal region
Lesions may ulcerate and bleed
Secondary infection produces offensive odour
May be mistaken for cancer of vulva or penis

Likelihood of transmission per act of unprotected intercourse Low
Likelihood of long-term sexual partner being infected Low-moderate
Protective effect of condoms Probably low
Transmission by oral sex Unknown
Duration of potential infectivity Months to years if active lesions present
Important sequelae Local tissue destruction, scarring and secondary oedema. Lesions may spread locally, intra-pelvically and to distant anatomic sites. Enhanced HIV transmission
Direct benefit of detection and treatment of contacts Cure

Usual management of contacts

Counselling, clinical examination and appropriate investigation (Presumptively treat partners) until lesions have healed

Contact tracing priority High for regular partners. Moderate for casual partners. Donovanosis is now rare in previously endemic areas in Central and Northern Australia following intensive case finding and treatment programs. Always seek specialist support for contact tracing.
Notification Notifiable by doctors in most Australian states territories and by laboratories in all Australian states and territories Not notifiable in NZ.