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Buruli ulcer (Mycobacterium ulcerans infection)

Overview

Buruli ulcer is a chronic debilitating disease that mainly affects the skin and sometimes bones. First described by Sir Albert Cook in 1897 in Uganda, it was not until the 1930s that Australian scientists led by Peter MacCallum first succeeded in culturing the organism from lesions of patients from the Bairnsdale region. The name Buruli comes from an area of Uganda where many cases were reported in the 1960s. In Africa, about half of the patients are children under 15 years. In Australia, the average age is around 60 years. In 1998, WHO established the Global Buruli Ulcer Initiative in response to the growing spread of the disease, particularly in West Africa.

Buruli ulcer is caused by Mycobacterium and belongs to the family of bacteria that causes tuberculosis and leprosy. Although the causative organism of Buruli ulcer is an environmental bacterium, the mode of transmission to humans remains unknown. The organism produces a unique toxin – mycolactone – that causes the damage to the skin. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to minimizing morbidity, costs and prevent long-term disability.

Source: WHO

Lastest News

External Quality Assessment Program: Second Round

External Quality Assessment Program: Second Round

  Written byAfrica BU-LABNET
      on 19 May 2022
Consumables shipment for Buruli ulcer PCR

Consumables shipment for Buruli ulcer PCR

  Written byAfrica BU-LABNET
      on 15 March 2022

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BU-LABNET Resources

BU-LABNET EQAP TOR

BU-LABNET EQAP TOR

Buruli ulcer laboratory network and new External Quality Assessment Programme for PCR-based diagnosis in the WHO African Region. Read More
BU-LABNET First Meeting Report

BU-LABNET First Meeting Report

The First meeting of the network on Buruli ulcer PCR laboratories in the WHO African Region set up on 21-24 Read More
BU-LABNET Harmonizes SOPs

BU-LABNET Harmonizes SOPs

Standard Operating Protocols (SOP) : Recommendation for sampling, transport and storage of samples for Buruli ulcer diagnosis. Read More
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