Treatment of Mycobacterium ulcerans disease (Buruli Ulcer)

Treatment of Mycobacterium ulcerans disease (Buruli Ulcer)

World Health Organization

Guidance for health workers

Publication details

Editors: World Health Organization
Number of pages: v, 66 p.
Publication date: April 2012
Languages: English; French
ISBN: 9789241503402
WHO reference number: WHO/HTM/NTD/IDM/2012.1


This manual is intended to guide healthcare workers in the clinical diagnosis and management of Buruli ulcer, one of the seventeen neglected tropical diseases. The disease is caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, which belongs to the same family of organisms that cause tuberculosis and leprosy.
Since 2004, antibiotic treatment has greatly improved the management of Buruli ulcer and is presently the fi rst-line therapy for all forms of the disease. Guidance for complementary treatments such as surgery, wound care, and prevention of disability are also included. Numerous coloured photographs and tables are used to enhance the manual’s value as a training and reference tool.
Implementation of this guidance will require considerable clinical judgement and close monitoring of patients to ensure the best possible treatment outcome. Early detection and early antibiotic treatment are essential for obtaining the best results and minimizing the disabilities associated with Buruli ulcer.