Volume 70, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


To assess the magnitude of the Buruli ulcer (BU) problem in Cameroon, we conducted a cross-sectional survey in the Nyong River basin and identified on clinical grounds a total of 436 cases of active or inactive BU (202 and 234, respectively). Swab specimens were taken from 162 active cases with ulcerative lesions and in 135 of these (83.3%) the clinical diagnosis was confirmed by the polymerase chain reaction. Most lesions (93%) were located on the extremities, with lower limbs being twice as commonly involved as upper limbs. The age of patients with active BU ranged from 2 to 90 years with a median age of 14.5 years. Vaccination with bacilli Calmette-Guérin appeared to protect children against more severe forms of BU with multiple lesions. We conclude that in Cameroon BU is endemic, at least in the study area, and that a comprehensive control program for BU in Cameroon is urgently needed.


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  • Received : 08 Feb 2003
  • Accepted : 29 May 2003

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