History, biology and chemistry of Mycobacterium ulcerans infections (Buruli ulcer disease)†
Covering: up to the end of July 2013
Mycobacterium ulcerans infections (Buruli ulcer disease) have a long history that can be traced back 150 years. The successive discoveries of the mycobacteria in 1948 and of mycolactone A/B in 1999, the toxin responsible for this dramatic necrotic skin disease, resulted in a paradigm shift concerning the disease itself and in a broader sense, delineated an entirely new role for bioactive polyketides as virulence factors. The fascinating history, biology and chemistry of M. ulcerans infections are discussed in this review.