Mycobacterium ulcerans in mosquitoes captured during outbreak of Buruli ulcer, southeastern Australia

Emerg Infect Dis. 2007 Nov;13(11):1653-60. doi: 10.3201/eid1311.061369.


Buruli ulcer (BU) occurs in >30 countries. The causative organism, Mycobacterium ulcerans, is acquired from the environment, but the exact mode of transmission is unknown. We investigated an outbreak of BU in a small coastal town in southeastern Australia and screened by PCR mosquitoes caught there. All cases of BU were confirmed by culture or PCR. Mosquitoes were trapped in multiple locations during a 26-month period. BU developed in 48 residents of Point Lonsdale/Queenscliff and 31 visitors from January 2001 through April 2007. We tested 11,504 mosquitoes trapped at Point Lonsdale (predominantly Aedes camptorhynchus). Forty-eight pools (5 species) were positive for insertion sequence IS2404 (maximum likelihood estimate 4.3/1,000), and we confirmed the presence of M. ulcerans in a subset of pools by detection of 3 additional PCR targets.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Buruli Ulcer / epidemiology*
  • Buruli Ulcer / microbiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / epidemiology
  • Communicable Diseases, Emerging / microbiology
  • Culicidae / microbiology*
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Environmental Microbiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Insect Vectors / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycobacterium ulcerans / genetics
  • Mycobacterium ulcerans / isolation & purification*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods