Socio-Environmental Factors Associated with the Risk of Contracting Buruli Ulcer in Tiassalé, South Côte d’Ivoire: A Case-Control Study
Mycobacterium ulcerans infection (Buruli ulcer) is a neglected but treatable skin disease endemic in over 30 countries. M. ulcerans is an environmental mycobacteria with an elusive mode of transmission to humans. Ecological and Molecular epidemiological studies to identify reservoirs and transmission vectors are important for source tracking infections especially during outbreaks and elucidating transmission routes. Research efforts have therefore focused on genotyping strains of the mycobacteria from clinical and environmental samples. This review discusses genotyping tools for differentiating M. ulcerans strains from other environmental and Mycolactone Producing Mycobacteria (MPMs). We highlight tools that have been adapted from related fields and propose ways these could be enhanced to resolve intra-species variation for epidemiological, transmission, evolutionary studies, and detection of emerging drug resistant strains. In the wake of increasing cases of Buruli ulcer, cumulative efforts including improvement in diagnostic methods and fine-tuning of genotyping tools are crucial to complement public health efforts in reducing infections.