Mycobacterium Ulcerans Disease (in Victoria)

This is the seldom serious (in Victoria) “flesh eating” disease of some Victorian coastal areas, initially of Bairnsdale (hence the old name Bairnsdale bacillus), but now of Pt Lonsdale and before that of Philip Island. The disease also occurs in the Daintree area of Queensland and in New Guinea. M ulcerans infection is serious in some parts of West Africa and occurs rarely in a number of other countries but not at all in most countries. The World Health Organisation uses the term Buruli Ulcer instead of Mycobacterium Ulcerans Disease and this term is always used in Africa. Other species of mycobacteria (fungus bacteria) cause a number of chronic infections including tuberculosis and leprosy and several other uncommon conditions. Because medical research occurs at a higher level in Australia than in any other country where the disease occurs at all commonly, much of our knowledge of M ulcerans comes from Australian research and, in particular, from the Monash University where the genome of the organism has been determined. Victorian clinicians including myself have been active with respect to determining the best way to treat the condition and have assisted the World Health Organisation. Until recent years it was thought that Mycobacterium ulcerans did not respond to specific antibiotics but, this is now realised to be incorrect. Treatment now starts with the administration of antibiotics and surgery has become less important. 


Mr Buntine advises and is available for second opinions concerning the management of Mycobacterium ulcerans disease. 


Click below to view articles to which Mr Buntine has contributed:-


Treatment and Prevention of Mycobacterium Ulcerans Infection (Buruli Ulcer) in Australia: Guideline Update


All-Oral Antibiotic Treatment for Buruli Ulcer: A Report of Four Patients


Spontaneous Clearance of Mycobacterium Ulcerans in a Case of Buruli Ulcer