BLMs4BU project

Everything you need to know about it

What is Buruli ulcer?

Buruli ulcer (BU) is a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) of the skin caused by an environmental mycobacterium, Mycobacterium ulcerans, which belongs to the same family of bacteria that cause tuberculosis or leprosy.

More than 30 countries have reported cases of this disease, with countries in West and Central Africa being those reporting the majority of cases. The greatest burden falls on children under the age of 15 years in sub-Saharan Africa.

To date, its mode of transmission is unknown, but it is related to areas with stagnant and unhealthy water. Therefore, early diagnosis and treatment are crucial to minimise morbidity, costs and prevent long-term disability.

In most endemic areas, BU remains a disease that affects the poorest communities.

Compliance is challenging due to socioeconomic determinants and can place an unsustainable financial burden on the household.


To assess whether BU treatment could be reduced from 8 to 4 weeks by co-administering amoxicillin/clavulanate together with the current therapy of rifampicin/clarithromycin.


Where is the project performed?


Clinical Site

What is the scope of the project?

Looking to the future working to implement improvements in this and other similar treatments


A shortened, highly effective, all-oral treatment would reduce healing time and would require less hospitalisation and therefore less costs, providing an easier and shorter therapy.


If clinical trials are successful, this research could lead to a change in WHO policy and practice for this disease.


It could illustrate strategies to shorten the treatment of other mycobacterial infections treated with rifampicin such as tuberculosis, leprosy and non-tuberculous mycobacteria.