Buruli Ulcer Research Overview
"The ulcers were large and indolent, had widely undermined edges, and at the time were thought to be either tuberculous or syphilitic... The local people have a term, 'juwe okoro' or 'bile okoro', which means roughly 'the sore that heals in vain'" (Lunn et al. 1965).
Michigan State University and the University of Tennessee were granted funds from the National Institute of Health and National Science foundation for a five year study to investigate possible links among biting aquatic insects, water quality, landscape, and Buruli ulcer transmission in Ghana, Africa. The Ghana based-Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research and the Water Research Institute will be assisting in the research. This study will determine landscape factors that influence aquatic food web structure and Buruli ulcer distribution within and among habitats of Ghana, Africa. By integrating GIS and remote sensing technologies with established ecological sampling and assessment techniques and molecular diagnostics tools (PCR) we will determine the ecological distribution and potential factors influencing environmental conditions conducive for the bacteria which causes Buruli ulcer, Mycobacterium ulcerans. This multi-disciplinary approach will provide data and generate predictive models to enhance the scientific understanding necessary for the design, implementation, and evaluation of future and existing Buruli ulcer control programs.