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June 1995

Traditional Treatment of Buruli Ulcer in Bénin

Author Affiliations

Cotonou, Bénin

Sagon, Zou, Bénin

Cotonou, Bénin


Lomé, Togo

Antwerp, Belgium

Chief, Mycobacteriology Armed Forces Institute of Pathology Washington, DC 20306-6000

Arch Dermatol. 1995;131(6):741-742. doi:10.1001/archderm.1995.01690180121030

After tuberculosis and leprosy, Mycobacterium ulcerans infection (Buruli ulcer) is the third most important and probably the third most common mycobacterial disease of immunocompetent human.1 Buruli ulcers often cause massive destruction of skin and subcutaneous tissue that, without appropriate therapy, often leave grossly deforming sequelae.2 Wide excision of the ulcers with subsequent skin grafting and physical therapy prevents many of these disastrous results.

Buruli ulcers prevail in focal riverine and swampy localities of numerous tropical regions, including most countries of West Africa, and afflict many impoverished inhabitants, primarily children, of remote areas where the amenities of modern medical science are unavailable or too expensive.

In 1988, Muelder3 was the first to describe a patient with Buruli ulcer in Bénin. Subsequent observations suggest a relatively high prevalence in Bénin.4 In 1993, for example, the dispensary of the Catholic Mission of Zangnanado, one of the few centers in