In the ancient classification (now obsolete), donovanosis was listed as the 5th venereal disease.

In dermatology textbooks, it is known as Granuloma Inguinale ou venereal granuloma.



As this infection is quite rare in Western Europe and that names are quite similar, medical students tend to find it difficult to make the difference with  lymphogranuloma venereum (Nicolas-Favre disease), which is also quite rare.

For this reason, it is easier to remember the term Donovanosis.



The name refers to Dr Charles Donovan (1863-1951). He was Irish but born in Calcutta (Kolkata), and worked as a physician in India.

He discovered the responsible organism in 1905 in the form of rod-shaped or oval inclusions in histiocytes (known as Donovan bodies) from beefy-red genital ulcerations [Klebsiella granulomatis, a Gram negative bacteria]

Donovan also described 2 years earlier with Dr William Leischman, the protozoa of Kala-azar which is a type of Leishmaniasis



Separately and roughly at the name time the cause of syphilis (treponema pallidum) was found by Drs Schaudinn and Hoffmann (1905)



Source of information: Harms M. Dermatologica Helvetica (The Swiss Journal of Dermatology and Venereology)



Photo credit: wikipedia