Buruli Ulcer (Mycobacterium Ulcerans)
Travel Health

From: Travel Health Information and Advice

Buruli Ulcer (Mycobacterium Ulcerans)
Buruli Ulcer is a chronic skin disease caused by the bacteria known as Mycobacterium ulcerans.

Buruli Ulcer Symptoms
The Buruli Ulcer develops quickly from a painless lump under the surface of the skin, into localized swelling of the area followed by painful ulcerated lesions appearing at the site. If left untreated further ulcers will often develop often infecting muscles and bones and causing deformities due to the excessive soft tissue necrosis that can occur.

Areas Affected by Buruli Ulcer
Areas with a tropical and sub tropical climate such as Cameroon, Benin, Ghana, Peru, Africa and Uganda, that are also around stagnant or slow moving bodies of water are common sights of the disease.

The exact method of transmission of the bacteria is unknown but often related to the contamination of a patients previous injury. It is not thought that the bacteria can be passed from human to human.

Diagnosing Buruli Ulcer
Buruli Ulcer's are often diagnosed by their outward appearance and location which is often found on the limbs, in particular the lower limbs.

Preventing Buruli Ulcer
The Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccine is thought to help protect against the Buruli Ulcer.

Treatment for Buruli Ulcer
Prompt treatment is essential to help prevent the disease from producing further ulcers and travelling into the bone, in such cases scarring, further infection and bone deformities can result. Treatment often includes the use of antibiotics and surgery to remove dead, damaged or infected tissue from the area, with skin often grafted on at later stage of the healing process.