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Mighty Medical Maggots to fight the Bairnsdale Ulcer

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Published on May 2, 2013

Help us fight a flesh-eating disease by supporting our crowdfunding project at http://pozible.com/mightymaggots

Mycobacterium ulcerans is a flesh-eating bacterial disease. After tuberculosis and leprosy, it is the third most common mycobacterial infection worldwide among healthy individuals. In Victoria it is known as Bairnsdale ulcer, and elsewhere as Daintree ulcer and in Africa as the Buruli ulcer. Cases in Victoria's Bellarine Peninsula were first reported in 1998, and this is now recognised as an endemic area with the highest burden of disease in Australia. The aim of this project is to trial the medically approved method of maggot debridement therapy (MDT) -- in which the maggots remove the dead infected skin as an extra treatment to traditional antibiotics for patients with these skin ulcers.

This project will assess the ability of Medical Maggot Treatment to improve the rate of healing and reduce need for surgical interventions for patients with Bairnsdale Ulcers, compared to those patients treated with traditional antibiotics alone over the period of 1-2 years (depending on infection rates and patient recruitment). This may lead to the development of new 'gold standard' treatments for this disease in Australia. Maggot Therapy is more cost effective and less invasive that surgical debridement therapy and the use of long term antibiotics can cause other medical conditions like diarrhoea.

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