• Mycobacterium ulcerans infection: control, diagnosis, and treatment.

      Sizaire, V; Nackers, F; Comte, E; Portaels, F; Médecins Sans Frontières, London, UK. vinciane.sizaire@london.msf.org (Elsevier, 2006-05)
      The skin disease Buruli ulcer, caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, is the third most common mycobacterial disease after tuberculosis and leprosy and mainly affects remote rural African communities. Although the disease is known to be linked to contaminated water, the mode of transmission is not yet understood, which makes it difficult to propose control interventions. The disease is usually detected in its later stages, when it has caused substantial damage and disability. Surgery remains the treatment of choice. Although easy and effective in the early stages of the disease, treatment requires extended excisions and long hospitalisation for the advanced forms of the disease. Currently, no antibiotic treatment has proven effective for all forms of M ulcerans infection and research into a new vaccine is urgently needed. While the scientific community works on developing non-invasive and rapid diagnostic tools, the governments of endemic countries should implement active case finding and health education strategies in their affected communities to detect the disease in its early stages. We review the diagnosis, treatment, and control of Buruli ulcer and list priorities for research and development.
    • Population Differences in Death Rates in HIV-Positive Patients with Tuberculosis.

      Ciglenecki, I; Glynn, J R; Mwinga, A; Ngwira, B; Zumla, A; Fine, P E M; Nunn, A; Médecins Sans Frontières, Geneva, Switzerland. iza_ciglenecki@yahoo.com (International Union Against TB and Lung Disease, 2007-10)
      SETTING: Randomised controlled clinical trial of Mycobacterium vaccae vaccination as an adjunct to anti-tuberculosis treatment in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) positive patients with smear-positive tuberculosis (TB) in Lusaka, Zambia, and Karonga, Malawi. OBJECTIVE: To explain the difference in mortality between the two trial sites and to identify risk factors for death among HIV-positive patients with TB. DESIGN: Information on demographic, clinical, laboratory and radiographic characteristics was collected. Patients in Lusaka (667) and in Karonga (84) were followed up for an average of 1.56 years. Cox proportional hazard analyses were used to assess differences in survival between the two sites and to determine risk factors associated with mortality during and after anti-tuberculosis treatment. RESULTS: The case fatality rate was 14.7% in Lusaka and 21.4% in Karonga. The hazard ratio for death comparing Karonga to Lusaka was 1.47 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.9-2.4) during treatment and 1.76 (95%CI 1.0-3.0) after treatment. This difference could be almost entirely explained by age and more advanced HIV disease among patients in Karonga. CONCLUSION: It is important to understand the reasons for population differences in mortality among patients with TB and HIV and to maximise efforts to reduce mortality.