Mycobacterium ulcerans infection (Buruli ulcer): towards improving control, diagnosis and therapy
After tuberculosis and leprosy, Buruli ulcer, caused by M. ulcerans, is the third most common mycobacterial disease. Buruli ulcer is a chronic necrotising disease of the skin and the subcutaneous tissue. M. ulcerans is unique among mycobacterial pathogens in that it is mainly extracellular and produces a plasmid-encoded toxin, named mycolactone. Mycolactone is believed to play a central role in pathogenesis and immunology.
The goals of our research are to improve understanding of the pathogenesis, immunology and transmission of Buruli ulcer, develop methods for early diagnosis, and investigate prospects for improving therapy and vaccine development.