Buruli ulcer

Drug treatment and new treatment modalities


Until 2003, the recommended treatment of Buruli ulcer was surgery. Recent development of drug treatment for Buruli ulcer has shown that a combination of rifampicin and an aminoglycoside (streptomycin or amikacin) given for 4–12 weeks heal early lesions and results in less radical surgery.

This is a first step in drug development but a major advance in the management of the disease. The daily painful injection of streptomycin is a concern and hopefully further studies will identify other alternatives to streptomycin.

Recommended studies:

  • To determine other effective combinations of antibiotics, particularly oral ones, and how long they must be given;
  • To further study the role of antibiotics as adjunct to surgery to reduce the extent of surgical excision;
  • To investigate the role of other modes of treatments as adjuvant to antibiotics and surgery, especially, in case of complicated cases.