A Study On The Presence Of Mycobacterium Ulcerans In The Water Column

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Of Water Bodies In Buruli Ulcer Endemic Areas In The Greater Accra Region Of Ghana

Buruli ulcer a destructive skin eating disease caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans (MU) mode of transmission still remains unclear although it is generally accepted that it can not be transmitted from person to person.

Research on aquatic bugs has shown the presence of MU in the bug’s salivary gland and also the ability to transmit under experimental conditions.

The other route of transmission postulated suggests an accumulation of the bacterium on bruises when humans visit the water bodies.

My research was therefore carried out to determine whether MU can be found to live freely in water column.

Selected water bodies for studies had previously been sampled for aquatic bug that have tested positive for the presence of MU.

Interestly, the result was negative for the presence of MU for water samples collected after DNA extraction and PCR.

It was concluded that although the current results were negative, it could be due to the fact that not enough sites were covered in the sampling or that MU does not live freely in the water but rather in biofilms.

Further work need to be done to confirm the current results.

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