Buruli ulcer is a neglected tropical disease (NTD) resulting in debilitating skin lesions, disabilities and stigmatization. The current antibiotic treatment is long and has severe adverse side effects. Researchers from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) together with colleagues from Singapore have discovered a highly effective compound against Buruli ulcer which has the potential to become a powerful alternative to the existing treatment options.
Results were published this week in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications.
Traditionally, the skin lesions caused by Buruli ulcer have been removed by wide surgical excision. Since 2004, the World Health Organization (WHO) also recommends treatment with a combination of antibiotics: oral rifampicin and injected streptomycin. Surgery is often not an accessible option in low-income settings and the combination therapy requires daily visits in health centres over an 8-week period. More importantly, the antibiotics result in severe adverse side effects with over 20% of treated patients suffering from hearing loss. In addition, fear of the emergence of rifampicin resistance increases the pressure to develop new and better drug treatment regimens.
Swiss TPH researchers, together with partner institutions such as the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, have now discovered a promising compound against Buruli ulcer.
Read more at Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
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