Buruli Ulcer – What is it, Symptoms and Treatments!

Buruli Ulcer – What it is, Symptoms and Treatments  and much more is what you will learn from now on, so stay with us and discover everything about Buruli Ulcer , a disease that kills more Brazilians every day. Also, not as well known as another tropical disease, Buruli ulcer is still an “infection to be reckoned with. Caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, this bacterium is in the same family as the bacteria that cause leprosy and tuberculosis, also two of the most well-known infections worldwide.

Infection with this bacterium causes Buruli’ bit of damage to the soft tissue and skin with the formation of ulcers . These ulcerated areas usually occur on the arms or legs. If these Buruli ulcers are not treated in the early stages of the disease, patients not only have to live with bad deformed skin, but also considerable joint pain as well as partial immobility.

What is Buruli Ulcer: Buruli  ulcer , also known as Bairnsdale, Searls or Daintree ulcer is an infectious skin disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium ulcerans. The onset of Buruli ulcer  is characterized by a painless lump and swelling that with days turns into an ulcer . Almost all of the 5000-6000 annual cases of Buruli ulcer  occur in sub-Saharan Africa, being rare in America and Asia and there are no reports of recent cases in Europe.

Symptoms of Buruli Ulcer:  The main signs of this disease appear on the skin, including:

  • Swelling of the skin;
  • Wound that grows slowly without causing pain;
  • Darker colored skin, especially around the wound
  • Swelling of the arm or leg, if the sore appears in the limbs.

In most cases, the wound that appears on the skin is smaller than the region affected by the bacteria, and therefore, the doctor may need to remove an area larger than the wound to expose the entire affected region and perform the appropriate treatment.

Buruli Ulcer Treatments: Buruli  ulcer treatment consists of a combination of antibiotics and complementary treatments. There are treatment guidelines for healthcare professionals in the WHO publication entitled Treatment of Mycobacterium ulcerans disease.

Antibiotics:  Different combinations of antibiotics are used for eight weeks to treat Buruli ulcer , regardless of the stage of the disease. Depending on the patient profile, you can use one of the following combinations:

  • A combination of rifampicin (10 mg/kg once daily) and streptomycin (15 mg/kg once daily).
  • A combination of rifampicin (10 mg/kg once daily) and clarithromycin (7.5 mg/kg twice daily). 2016 recruit phase-finalized patients to a randomized controlled trial, with results expected in 2017.
  • Since streptomycin is contraindicated in pregnancy, the combination of rifampicin and clarithromycin is considered the safest option for this patient group.

Useful links: 

In Australia, a combination of rifampicin (10 mg/kg once daily) and moxifloxacin (400 mg once daily) is commonly used with good results against Buruli ulcer , although its effectiveness has not been demonstrated in randomized trials.

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