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.

Abdul-wahid Habib A.M. Malaria treatment adherence in the context of reactive case detection in Zanzibar. Basel: Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, 2018. MSc

AbouZahr C et al. How can we accelerate progress on civil registration and vital statistics?. Bull World Health Organ. 2018;96(4):226-226A. DOI: 10.2471/BLT.18.211086

Accordini S et al. A three-generation study on the association of tobacco smoking with asthma. Int J Epidemiol. 2018(in press). (ALEC). DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyy031

Akama T et al. Identification of a 4-fluorobenzyl L-valinate amide benzoxaborole (AN11736) as a potential development candidate for the treatment of Animal African Trypanosomiasis (AAT). Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2018;28(1):6-10. DOI: 10.1016/j.bmcl.2017.11.028

Ali F.N. Systematic review of tuberculosis control in Ethiopia with special emphasis on pastoralists: adaptation of DOTS for mobile pastoralists. Basel: Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, 2018. MIH

Aljeesh Y.I, Alkhaldi M. Institutionalising community health programmes into the Palestinian health-care system: a qualitative study. Lancet, 2018;391:S36. DOI: 10.1016/s0140-6736(18)30361-1

AlKhaldi M, Abed Y, Pfeiffer C, Haj-Yahia S, Alkaiyat A, Tanner M. Understanding the concept and importance of the health research system in Palestine: a qualitative study. Health Res Policy Syst. 2018;16:49. DOI: 10.1186/s12961-018-0315-z

Almeida A.C.G et al. High proportions of asymptomatic and submicroscopic Plasmodium vivax infections in a peri-urban area of low transmission in the Brazilian Amazon. Parasit Vectors. 2018;11:194. DOI: 10.1186/s13071-018-2787-7

Altiner A.O, Tekeli-Yesil S. Emergency Medical Service (EMS) utilization by Syrian refugees residing in Ankara, Turkey. Prehosp Disaster Med. 2018;33(2):160-164. DOI: 10.1017/S1049023X18000134

Amek N.O et al. Infant and child mortality in relation to malaria transmission in KEMRI/CDC HDSS, Western Kenya: validation of verbal autopsy. Malar J. 2018;17:37. DOI: 10.1186/s12936-018-2184-x