The use of ozone therapy in Buruli ulcer had an excellent outcome

Bertolotti A., Izzo A., Grigolato PG., Iabichella ML.

This is the first case reporting the effective use of 2 weeks of ozone therapy for the treatment of Buruli ulcer (BU), a dramatic disease caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans, an epidemic in central Africa. This simple and cheap treatment could become an effective option for managing BU as an alternative to antibiotic or surgical treatments.

The aim of our collaboration with the Health Centre run by the Camillian Sisters in Zinvié is to provide clinical assistance to patients with BU using a cheap treatment that can be prepared and administered in a simple manner by local, well-trained healthcare providers. This approach, together with a holistic approach to the patient with BU, including health education,10 could permit BU treatment and control. In Africa, where a surgery unit or advanced medications are rarely available, the method we used needs only an oxygen tank, an ozone generator, water and a plastic bag, together with a system to let the gas come into contact with the ulcer. The case reported above was the first of a series of patients treated with this cheap and simply usable treatment in a place with scarce or no hygienic conditions. This case was completely collected and described. A study evaluating the results of the application of ozone for the treatment of BU is ongoing in our center; we are conducting a randomised study to confirm the effectiveness of this treatment in a representative sample of patients. As soon as the results are available, we will ensure their publication.

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BMJ Case Rep. 2013 Jan 31 2013