Buruli ulcer

Last Updated: 2023-07-07

Author(s): Anzengruber F., Navarini A.

ICD11: 1B21.20

  • Cook 1897
  • Kleinschmidt 1935
  • McCallum 1948

Buruli ulcer.

  • Atypical mycobacteriosis caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans
  • Infection with the atypical mycobacterium, Mycobacterium ulcerans, an obligate pathogen

  • 3rd most common mycobacteriosis in immunocompetent individuals
  • Most common in tropical and subtropical areas

  • Pathogen: Mycobacterium ulcerans
  • Inoculation period: 2-14 weeks
  • The route of infection is not clear. Possibly via contaminated soil, plants, possibly insects or from person to person

  • S.c., painless, slightly scaly, centrally draining, partly oedematous nodules appear on legs or trunk, which in the course of time transform into a size-progressive ulcer (up to 15% of the KOF)
  • In rare cases, there is involvement of the fascia, muscles and bones

  • Clinic
  • Bact. smear

Granulomas with Langerhans giant cells, acanthosis, hyperkeratosis.

The occurrence of widespread necrosis and seeding of mycobacteria on the bones are possible. Spontaneous remission with scarring is possible.

  1. Meyers, W.M. and F. Portaels, Mycobacterium ulcerans Infection (Buruli Ulcer), in Tropical Infectious Diseases. 2006, Elsevier BV. p. 428-435.
  2. Phillips, R., et al., Sensitivity of PCR Targeting the IS2404 Insertion Sequence of Mycobacterium ulcerans in an Assay Using Punch Biopsy Specimens for Diagnosis of Buruli Ulcer. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 2005. 43(8): p. 3650-3656.