Buruli ulcer

Mycobacterium Ulcerans Infection (Buruli ulcer): Towards Improving Control, Diagnosis and Therapy

After tuberculosis and leprosy, Buruli ulcer (BU), caused by M. ulcerans, is the third most common mycobacterial disease, and Western Africa is the world region most affected by this 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 with a polyketide-derived macrolide structure, named mycolactone.

Symptoms and Treatment

Mycolactone is believed to play a central role in determining the extracellular localization of the bacteria and modulation of immunological responses to M. ulcerans. Clinical lesions usually start as painless nodules and if left untreated lead to massive destruction of skin and sometimes bone. While surgery has traditionally been the only recommended treatment for BU, in 2004 WHO published provisional guidelines recommending treatment with a combination of rifampicin and streptomycin for 8 weeks.

Our research

We developed a brad research portfolio comprising clinical, field and laboratory studies.

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.

Abidi S.K et al. An individual patient data meta-analysis to estimate the diagnostic accuracy of a machine learning-based software for analyzing chest x-rays of persons with symptoms of pulmonary tuberculosis: preliminary findings. Am J Respir Crit Care Med, 2019;199:A5167

Ahoua A.R.C et al. Anti-inflammatory and quinone reductase-inducing compounds from Beilschmiedia mannii. Planta Med. 2019;85(5):379-384. DOI: 10.1055/a-0798-3155

Albertini B et al. Combining mechanochemistry and spray congealing for new praziquantel pediatric formulations in schistosomiasis treatment. Int J Mol Sci. 2019;20(5):1233. DOI: 10.3390/ijms20051233

Albrecht S et al. Age-related comorbidities and mortality in people living with HIV in rural Tanzania: data from a prospective cohort study. AIDS. 2019(in press). DOI: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000002171

Ali A.M. Population pharmacokinetic modelling and simulation of antimalaria drugs to optimize dosing in neglected populations. Basel: Univ. Basel, 2019. PhD Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Science

Allabadi H et al. Depression and anxiety symptoms in cardiac patients: a cross-sectional hospital-based study in a Palestinian population. BMC Public Health. 2019;19:232. DOI: 10.1186/s12889-019-6561-3

Amelio P et al. HIV infection functionally impairs Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific CD4 and CD8 T-cell responses. J Virol. 2019;93(5):e01728-18. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.01728-18

Ames H.M.R, Zuske M, King J.D, Steinmann P, Bosch-Capblanch X. Community and drug distributor perceptions and experiences of mass drug administration for the elimination of lymphatic filariasis: a rapid review of qualitative research. Adv Parasitol. 2019;103:117-149. DOI: 10.1016/bs.apar.2018.09.003

Aminzadeh R et al. The effect of antenna polarization and body morphology on the measurement uncertainty of a wearable multi-band distributed exposure meter. Ann Telecomm. 2019;74(1-2):67-77. DOI: 10.1007/s12243-018-0691-y

Antoine-Moussiaux N et al. The good, the bad and the ugly: framing debates on nature in a One Health community. Sustain Sci. 2019(in press). DOI: 10.1007/s11625-019-00674-z