Chemistry of Mycolactones, the Causative Toxins of Buruli Ulcer

  • Yoshito Kishi
Conference paper


Buruli ulcer is a severe and devastating skin disease caused by Mycobacterium ulceransinfection, yet it is one of the most neglected diseases (Fig. 1) (for recent reviews on Buruli ulcer, see [1–3]). Among the diseases caused by mycobacterial infection, Buruli ulcer occurs less frequently than tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis) and leprosy (Mycobacterium leprae). However, it is noted that the occurrence of Buruli ulcer is increasing and spreading in tropical countries, and that the incidence of the disease may exceed that of leprosy and tuberculosis in highly affected areas. Infection with M. ulcerans, probably carried by aquatic insects and mosquitoes [4, 5], results in painless necrotic lesions that, if untreated, can extend to 15% of a patient’s skin surface. Surgical intervention has been the only practical curative therapy for Buruli ulcer.


Buruli Ulcer Pentadecanoic Acid Fish Pathogen Pathogen Mycobacterium Mycobacterium Marinum 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We are grateful to the National Institutes of Health (CA 22215) and Eisai USA Foundation for generous financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Chemical BiologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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