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 222 free, full-text research articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Genetic Variation in Autophagy-Related Genes Influences the Risk and Phenotype of Buruli Ulcer.
 

Author(s): Carlos Capela, Ange Dodji Dossou, Rita Silva-Gomes, Ghislain Emmanuel Sopoh, Michel Makoutode, João Filipe Menino, Alexandra Gabriel Fraga, Cristina Cunha, Agostinho Carvalho, Fernando Rodrigues, Jorge Pedrosa

Journal:

 

Buruli ulcer (BU) is a severe necrotizing human skin disease caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans. Clinically, presentation is a sum of these diverse pathogenic hits subjected to critical immune-regulatory mechanisms. Among them, autophagy has been demonstrated as a cellular process of ...

Last Updated: 30 Apr 2016

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Buruli ulcer in Nigeria: results of a pilot case study in three rural districts.
 

Author(s): Kingsley N Ukwaja, Anthony O Meka, Alphonsus Chukwuka, Kingsley B Asiedu, Kristina L Huber, Miriam Eddyani, Joseph N Chukwu, Moses C Anyim, Charles C Nwafor, Daniel C Oshi, Nelson O Madichie, Ngozi Ekeke, Martin Njoku, Kentigern Ntana

Journal:

 

Buruli ulcer (BU), also known as Mycobacterium ulcerans disease, is the third most common mycobacterial disease worldwide. Although BU disease has been diagnosed among Nigerians in neighbouring West African countries, data on the burden of the disease in Nigeria itself are scanty. ...

Last Updated: 23 Apr 2016

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Neglected Actors in Neglected Tropical Diseases Research: Historical Perspectives on Health Workers and Contemporary Buruli Ulcer Research in Ayos, Cameroon.
 

Author(s): Guillaume Lachenal, Joseph Owona Ntsama, Daniel Ze Bekolo, Thomas Kombang Ekodogo, John Manton

Journal:

 

Last Updated: 22 Apr 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 9 free, full-text review articles on human participants. First 3 results:

Recent advances: role of mycolactone in the pathogenesis and monitoring of Mycobacterium ulcerans infection/Buruli ulcer disease.
 

Author(s): Fred Stephen Sarfo, Richard Phillips, Mark Wansbrough-Jones, Rachel E Simmonds

Journal: Cell. Microbiol.. 2016 Jan;18(1):17-29.

 

Infection of subcutaneous tissue with Mycobacterium ulcerans can lead to chronic skin ulceration known as Buruli ulcer. The pathogenesis of this neglected tropical disease is dependent on a lipid-like toxin, mycolactone, which diffuses through tissue away from the infecting organisms. ...

Last Updated: 19 Jan 2016

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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 in the health districts of the Democratic Republic of Congo from 1950 to 2013: literature review and new distribution map].
 

Author(s): K Kibadi, A Tiendrebeogo, B Ekoue Kinvi, B De Jong, M Boelaert, F Portaels

Journal: Med Sante Trop. ;24(4):420-9.

 

This paper describes the current distribution of cases of Buruli ulcer (BU) by highlighting health districts that are endemic and suspected to be endemic, based on the studies, surveys, and activity reports published from 1950 to 2013. We define as endemic any health district with ...

Last Updated: 19 Jan 2015

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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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