Local Heat Application for the Treatment of Buruli Ulcer: Results of a Phase II Open Label Single Center Non Comparative Clinical Trial.

Vogel, Moritz; Bayi, Pierre F; Ruf, Marie-Thérèse; Bratschi, Martin W; Bolz, Miriam; Um Boock, Alphonse; Zwahlen, Marcel; Pluschke, Gerd; Junghanss, Thomas (2016). Local Heat Application for the Treatment of Buruli Ulcer: Results of a Phase II Open Label Single Center Non Comparative Clinical Trial. Clinical infectious diseases, 62(3), pp. 342-350. Oxford University Press 10.1093/cid/civ883

Vogel ClinInfectDis 2016.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works (CC-BY-NC-ND).

Download (846kB) | Preview

BACKGROUND Buruli ulcer (BU) is a necrotizing skin disease most prevalent among West African children. The causative organism, Mycobacterium ulcerans, is sensitive to temperatures above 37°C. We investigated the safety and efficacy of a local heat application device based on phase change material. METHODS In a phase II open label single center noncomparative clinical trial (ISRCTN 72102977) under GCP standards in Cameroon, laboratory confirmed BU patients received up to 8 weeks of heat treatment. We assessed efficacy based on the endpoints 'absence of clinical BU specific features' or 'wound closure' within 6 months ("primary cure"), and 'absence of clinical recurrence within 24 month' ("definite cure"). RESULTS Of 53 patients 51 (96%) had ulcerative disease. 62% were classified as World Health Organization category II, 19% each as category I and III. The average lesion size was 45 cm(2). Within 6 months after completion of heat treatment 92.4% (49 of 53, 95% confidence interval [CI], 81.8% to 98.0%) achieved cure of their primary lesion. At 24 months follow-up 83.7% (41 of 49, 95% CI, 70.3% to 92.7%) of patients with primary cure remained free of recurrence. Heat treatment was well tolerated; adverse effects were occasional mild local skin reactions. CONCLUSIONS Local thermotherapy is a highly effective, simple, cheap and safe treatment for M. ulcerans disease. It has in particular potential as home-based remedy for BU suspicious lesions at community level where laboratory confirmation is not available. CLINICAL TRIALS REGISTRATION ISRCT 72102977.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM)

UniBE Contributor:

Zwahlen, Marcel


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 360 Social problems & social services




Oxford University Press




Doris Kopp Heim

Date Deposited:

09 Feb 2016 15:07

Last Modified:

09 Sep 2017 21:26

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Buruli ulcer; Mycobacterium ulcerans local thermotherapy





Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback