Persistence of Mycobacterium ulcerans disease (Buruli Ulcer) in the historical focus of Kasongo Territory, the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Fifty years after the last report of Mycobacterium ulcerans infections (Buruli ulcer [BU]) in Kasongo Territory, Maniema Province, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), we conducted a small-scale cross-sectional survey to assess if this historical BU focus was still active and if so to explore the disease epidemiology. Seventy-five active and inactive BU cases were identified on clinical grounds of which two of 28 BU active cases were laboratory confirmed. We used a modified BU02 form to reconstruct the local disease dynamics and we believe that the horrific conflict in eastern DRC and exceptional flooding were the most likely causes of the re-emergence of the disease. There is a need in the DRC to decentralize and integrate surveillance and control activities at local level to increase the effectiveness of patient management.