5 November 2018

Over the past few years, Victoria has seen a steady increase in notifications of Buruli ulcer (also known as Bairnsdale ulcer). We are currently experiencing the highest number of Buruli ulcer cases on record.

Through a substantial National Health and Medical Research Centre Partnership Grant, a collaborative partnership has been established to better understand how Buruli ulcer is transmitted, and to determine effective ways to prevent and reduce infections. The partners are Victoria’s Department of Health and Human Services, Barwon Health, Austin Health, The University of Melbourne, CSIRO, Agribio, and Mornington Peninsula Shire.

The research team has been working to plan and design the projects which involve a range of epidemiological, environmental and laboratory-based research to better understand disease transmission.

We are about to start a detailed case control study, which run for approximately two years, to try and identify all major risk factors for the disease.

Participants will be recruited and asked to complete a detailed questionnaire. The study team will conduct field surveys of all recent cases.

We would like to alert primary care providers to this study to encourage patient participation by people with with Buruli ulcer. To facilitate the recruitment of patients, you may soon be contacted by members of the team at Barwon Health and CSIRO to give permission for your patients to be contacted by the study team.

We thank you for your support and assistance with this important project.

Professor Eugene Athan (Barwon Health) and Professor Daniel O’Brien (Barwon Health) on behalf of the Beating Buruli in Victoria research partnership.

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