Antimicrobial treatment for early, limited Mycobacterium ulcerans infection: a randomised controlled trial.
ABSTRACT Surgical debridement was the standard treatment for Mycobacterium ulcerans infection (Buruli ulcer disease) until WHO issued provisional guidelines in 2004 recommending treatment with antimicrobial drugs (streptomycin and rifampicin) in addition to surgery. These recommendations were based on observational studies and a small pilot study with microbiological endpoints. We investigated the efficacy of two regimens of antimicrobial treatment in early-stage M ulcerans infection.
In this parallel, open-label, randomised trial undertaken in two sites in Ghana, patients were eligible for enrolment if they were aged 5 years or older and had early (duration <6 months), limited (cross-sectional diameter <10 cm), M ulcerans infection confirmed by dry-reagent-based PCR. Eligible patients were randomly assigned to receive intramuscular streptomycin (15 mg/kg once daily) and oral rifampicin (10 mg/kg once daily) for 8 weeks (8-week streptomycin group; n=76) or streptomycin and rifampicin for 4 weeks followed by rifampicin and clarithromycin (7.5 mg/kg once daily), both orally, for 4 weeks (4-week streptomycin plus 4-week clarithromycin group; n=75). Randomisation was done by computer-generated minimisation for study site and type of lesion (ulceration or no ulceration). The randomly assigned allocation was sent from a central site by cell-phone text message to the study coordinator. The primary endpoint was lesion healing at 1 year after the start of treatment without lesion recurrence or extensive surgical debridement. Analysis was by intention-to-treat. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00321178.
Four patients were lost to follow-up (8-week streptomycin, one; 4-week streptomycin plus 4-week clarithromycin, three). Since these four participants had healed lesions at their last assessment, they were included in the analysis for the primary endpoint. 73 (96%) participants in the 8-week streptomycin group and 68 (91%) in the 4-week streptomycin plus 4-week clarithromycin group had healed lesions at 1 year (odds ratio 2.49, 95% CI 0.66 to infinity; p=0.16, one-sided Fisher's exact test). No participants had lesion recurrence at 1 year. Three participants had vestibulotoxic events (8-week streptomycin, one; 4-week streptomycin plus 4-week clarithromycin, two). One participant developed an injection abscess and two participants developed an abscess close to the initial lesion, which was incised and drained (all three participants were in the 4-week streptomycin plus 4-week clarithromycin group).
Antimycobacterial treatment for M ulcerans infection is effective in early, limited disease. 4 weeks of streptomycin and rifampicin followed by 4 weeks of rifampicin and clarithromycin has similar efficacy to 8 weeks of streptomycin and rifampicin; however, the number of injections of streptomycin can be reduced by switching to oral clarithromycin after 4 weeks.
European Union (EU FP6 2003-INCO-Dev2-015476) and Buruli Ulcer Groningen Foundation.
SourceAvailable from: Peter Callan[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Mycobacterium ulcerans (M. ulcerans) is a necrotizing skin infection endemic to the Bellarine Peninsula, Australia. Current treatment recommendations include 8 weeks of combination antibiotics, with adjuvant surgery if necessary. However, antibiotic toxicity often results in early treatment cessation and local experience suggests that shorter antibiotic courses may be effective with concurrent surgery. We report the outcomes of patients in the Barwon Health M. ulcerans cohort who received shorter courses of antibiotic therapy than 8 weeks. A retrospective analysis was performed of all M. ulcerans infections treated at Barwon Health from March 1, 1998 to July 31, 2013. Sixty-two patients, with a median age of 65 years, received < 56 days of antibiotics and 51 (82%) of these patients underwent concurrent surgical excision. Most received a two-drug regimen of rifampicin combined with either ciprofloxacin or clarithromycin for a median 29 days (IQR 21-41days). Cessation rates were 55% for adverse events and 36% based on clinician decision. The overall success rate was 95% (98% with concurrent surgery; 82% with antibiotics alone) with a 50% success rate for those who received < 14 days of antibiotics increasing to 94% if they received 14-27 days and 100% for 28-55 days (p<0.01). A 100% success rate was seen for concurrent surgery and 14-27 days of antibiotics versus 67% for concurrent surgery and < 14 days of antibiotics (p = 0.12). No previously identified risk factors for treatment failure with surgery alone were associated with reduced treatment success rates with < 56 days of antibiotics. In selected patients, antibiotic treatment durations for M. ulcerans shorter than the current WHO recommended 8 weeks duration may be associated with successful outcomes.PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 02/2015; 9(2):e0003503. DOI:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003503 · 4.49 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Author Summary Neglected tropical diseases such as Buruli ulcer predominantly afflict the poorest populations in the world and reduce quality of life. Buruli ulcer is a necrotising infection that destroys the skin and soft tissue, frequently presenting as nodules or open ulcers. Buruli ulcer is treated with antibiotics and sometimes surgery. Unfortunately the antibiotic treatment can have toxic side effects, such as hearing loss. Also, patients must either be hospitalized or report daily to a treatment centre to get their medicine as the treatment is delivered by injection. In laboratory experiments we tested the susceptibility of Mycobacterium ulcerans, which causes Buruli ulcer, to avermectins. Avermectins are drugs that are used to treat common parasite and worm infections, such as river blindness. These drugs are inexpensive, have few side effects and are widely available. Our findings show that two avermectins called ivermectin and moxidectin inhibit the growth and also kill Mycobacterium ulcerans strains from both Africa and Australia. If their efficacy and safety also can be proven in animal and human studies, these drugs will provide an inexpensive addition to the current treatment of Buruli ulcer.PLoS neglected tropical diseases 03/2015; 9(3):e0003549. DOI:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003549 · 4.72 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Efforts to control the spread of Buruli ulcer - an emerging ulcerative skin infection caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans - have been hampered by our poor understanding of reservoirs and transmission. To help address this issue, we compared whole genomes from 18 clinical M. ulcerans isolates from a 30km2 region within the Asante Akim North District, Ashanti region, Ghana, with 15 other M. ulcerans isolates from elsewhere in Ghana and the surrounding countries of Ivory Coast, Togo, Benin and Nigeria. Contrary to our expectations of finding minor DNA sequence variations among isolates representing a single M. ulcerans circulating genotype, we found instead two distinct genotypes. One genotype was closely related to isolates from neighbouring regions of Amansie West and Densu, consistent with the predicted local endemic clone, but the second genotype (separated by 138 single nucleotide polymorphisms [SNPs] from other Ghanaian strains) most closely matched M. ulcerans from Nigeria, suggesting another introduction of M. ulcerans to Ghana, perhaps from that country. Both the exotic genotype and the local Ghanaian genotype displayed highly restricted intra-strain genetic variation, with less than 50 SNP differences across a 5.2Mbp core genome within each genotype. Interestingly, there was no discernible spatial clustering of genotypes at the local village scale. Interviews revealed no obvious epidemiological links among BU patients who had been infected with identical M. ulcerans genotypes but lived in geographically separate villages. We conclude that M. ulcerans is spread widely across the region, with multiple genotypes present in any one area. These data give us new perspectives on the behaviour of possible reservoirs and subsequent transmission mechanisms of M. ulcerans. These observations also show for the first time that M. ulcerans can be mobilized, introduced to a new area and then spread within a population. Potential reservoirs of M. ulcerans thus might include humans, or perhaps M. ulcerans-infected animals such as livestock that move regularly between countries.PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 03/2015; 9(3):e0003681. DOI:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003681 · 4.49 Impact Factor