The European Congress on Tropical Medicine and International Health (ECTMIH) was held in Utrecht, Netherlands, on 20-23 November 2023, with more than 1000 attendants from all over the world. Under the theme “Shaping the future of equitable and sustainable planetary health”, several topics were addressed, from planetary health to health systems, infectious diseases, neglected tropical diseases, non-communicable diseases, mental health, sexual and reproductive health and rights, and child and adolescent health.
The BLMs4BU Consortium organised an insightful workshop on “Current and future landscape on Buruli ulcer and leprosy treatment” that was actively chaired by Israel Cruz (Instituto de Salud Carlos III, Spain), member of the WHO Diagnostic Technical Advisory Group for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) and member of the BLMs4BU Consortium.
The coordinator of the BLMs4BU Consortium, Santiago Ramón García (University of Zaragoza/ARAID Foundation, Spain) presented the value of rifampicin to improve Buruli ulcer treatment, as well as the three current clinical trials aiming to improve this disease treatment.
Gerd Pluschke (Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Switzerland) explained the development and current updates in Telacebec and its potential to treat Buruli ulcer. However, particular issues to reach an efficient treatment need to be addressed, including the timing, dosing, safety and possible combinations with other drugs.
Christian Johnson (Fondation Raoul Follereau, France; Université Abomey-Calavi, Benin), and a principal investigator of the BLMs4BU project, presented, on behalf of Mamoudou Kodio (Hôpital de Dermatologie de Bamako, Mali) and the bedaquiline research team the promising preliminary results from the first pilot trial of the treatment of multibacillary leprosy with bedaquiline in Mali. This trial combines two months treatment with bedaquiline with WHO-recommended multidrug therapy. Dr. Johnson also showed the benefits of integrating skin NTDs screening and management, showing specific cases from Benin and Côte d’Ivoire.
This session provided a platform for collaborative discussion, enabling experts and researchers on skin NTDs to discuss current and potential treatments for these diseases, as well as the main challenges in the clinical trials and experimental interventions on these diseases.