Buruli ulcer

Common Name(s)

Buruli ulcer, Bairnsdale ulcer, Searls ulcer, Daintree ulcer

Buruli ulcer is a chronic (long-term) skin infection caused by a bacteria called Mycobacterium ulcerans. This bacteria releases a harmful substance that weakens the body's immune system and causes tissue damage. Though it has been reported in 33 countries, it is most common in tropical and sub-tropical climates and especially in poor, rural regions in Africa. Buruli ulcers can affect any race, age or age but is most commonly found in children ages 5-15 except in Australia where the average age is over 50. Initially, symptoms typically include a painless bump usually with additional swelling around it. It can also present as widespread painless swelling of the arms and legs. As the infection progresses, the skin bumps (nodules) turn into an ulcer, which can be larger under the skin than is visible by the swelling. In the most severe cases, bone can be involved. Arms and legs are most common sites of infection.

It is not known how this disease is contracted or spread. Therefore, prevention measures are unknown aside from early detection and diagnosis. There are current theories under investigation that an insect may play a role in carrying the disease, but this is not confirmed. There are currently no vaccines for preventing this disease, but the Baccillus Calmette-Guerin vaccine might provide temporary protection. Diagnosis is typically based on the presence of ulcers and additional specialized testing. If the disease is detected early, antibiotic treatment is effective in most people; however, if left untreated, long-term disability is the norm. Medications frequently used for treatment include a combination of antibiotics. Depending on the severity, surgery might be the more appropriate option.

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Condition Specific Organizations

Following organizations serve the condition "Buruli ulcer" for support, advocacy or research.

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Scientific Literature

Articles from the PubMed Database

Research articles describe the outcome of a single study. They are the published results of original research.
The terms "Buruli ulcer" returned 208 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Vaccination with the Surface Proteins MUL_2232 and MUL_3720 of Mycobacterium ulcerans Induces Antibodies but Fails to Provide Protection against Buruli Ulcer.
 

Author(s): Miriam Bolz, Angèle Bénard, Anita M Dreyer, Sarah Kerber, Andrea Vettiger, Wulf Oehlmann, Mahavir Singh, Malcolm S Duthie, Gerd Pluschke

Journal:

 

Buruli ulcer, caused by infection with Mycobacterium ulcerans, is a chronic ulcerative neglected tropical disease of the skin and subcutaneous tissue that is most prevalent in West African countries. M. ulcerans produces a cytotoxic macrolide exotoxin called mycolactone, which causes ...

Last Updated: 6 Feb 2016

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Buruli Ulcer in Cameroon: The Development and Impact of the National Control Programme.
 

Author(s): Earnest Njih Tabah, Dickson Shey Nsagha, Anne-Cécile Zoung-Kanyi Bissek, Alfred Kongnyu Njamnshi, Martin W Bratschi, Gerd Pluschke, Alphonse Um Boock

Journal:

 

Cameroon is endemic for Buruli ulcer (BU) and organised institutional BU control began in 2002. The objective was to describe the evolution, achievements and challenges of the national BU control programme (NBUCP) and to make suggestions for scaling up the programme.

Last Updated: 14 Jan 2016

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Socio-Environmental Factors Associated with the Risk of Contracting Buruli Ulcer in Tiassalé, South Côte d'Ivoire: A Case-Control Study.
 

Author(s): Raymond T A S N'krumah, Brama Koné, Issaka Tiembre, Guéladio Cissé, Gerd Pluschke, Marcel Tanner, Jürg Utzinger

Journal:

 

Buruli ulcer (BU) is a cutaneous infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans. The exact mode of transmission remains elusive; yet, some studies identified environmental, socio-sanitary, and behavioral risk factors. The purpose of this study was to assess the association of ...

Last Updated: 9 Jan 2016

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Reviews from the PubMed Database

Review articles summarize what is currently known about a disease. They discuss research previously published by others.
The terms "Buruli ulcer" returned 7 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Ethnopharmacological reports on anti-Buruli ulcer medicinal plants in three West African countries.
 

Author(s): Patrick Valere Tsouh Fokou, Alexander Kwadwo Nyarko, Regina Appiah-Opong, Lauve Rachel Tchokouaha Yamthe, Phyllis Addo, Isaac K Asante, Fabrice Fekam Boyom

Journal: J Ethnopharmacol. 2015 Aug;172():297-311.

 

Buruli ulcer (BU) is the third most common mycobacterial infection in the world, after tuberculosis and leprosy and has recently been recognized as an important emerging disease. This disease is common in West Africa where more than 99% of the burden is felt and where most affected ...

Last Updated: 3 Aug 2015

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[Buruli ulcer: a dynamic transversal research model performed through the international network of Pasteur Institutes].
 

Author(s): Estelle Marion, Jordi Landier, Sara Eyangoh, Laurent Marsollier

Journal: Med Sci (Paris). 2013 Oct;29(10):912-7.

 

Buruli ulcer is an endemic severe human skin disease caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, which prevails in western Africa in swampy areas and primarily hits children. Its gravity comes from the extent of tissue destruction, created by the toxin mycolactone. We describe here how the ...

Last Updated: 23 Oct 2013

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The impact of community health workers (CHWs) on Buruli ulcer in sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review.
 

Author(s): Marius Zambou Vouking, Violette Claire Tamo, Lawrence Mbuagbaw

Journal:

 

Buruli ulcer (BU) is a cutaneous neglected tropical disease caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans. Participation of Community Health Workers (CHWs) is an integral part of the management of BU, yet their impact has not been systematically evaluated in sub-Saharan Africa.

Last Updated: 6 Sep 2013

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Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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Clinical Trial Information This information is provided by ClinicalTrials.gov

Pathogenesis and Management of M. Ulcerans Disease, Buruli Ulcer
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Buruli Ulcer; Mycobacterium Ulcerans Disease

 

Last Updated: 2 Aug 2015

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WHO Drug Study for Buruli Ulcer - Comparison of SR8 and CR8
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Mycobacterium Ulcerans Infection

 

Last Updated: 11 May 2016

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Concomitant Infections of Mansonella Perstans in Tuberculosis and Buruli Ulcer Disease Patients From Ghana
 

Status: Recruiting

Condition Summary: Mansonella Perstans Infection; Buruli Ulcer; Tuberculosis; Co-infection

 

Last Updated: 2 Aug 2015

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