Buruli ulcer (BU), caused by the environmental organism Mycobacterium ulcerans and characterized by necrotizing skin and bone lesions, poses important public health issues as the third most common mycobacterial infection in humans. Pathogenesis of M ulcerans is mediated by mycolactone, a necrotizing immunosuppressive toxin. First-line therapy for BU is rifampin plus streptomycin, sometimes with surgery. New insights into the pathogenesis of BU should improve control strategies.
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