[Epidemiologicl aspects of Buruli ulcer in Côte d'Ivoire: results of a national survey].
Ulcer caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans and called Buruli ulcer is characterised by large cutaneous ulceration which often leads to debilitating sequelae. The disease occurs in swampy and stagnant water areas in intertropical regions of Asia, the Indian Ocean, Latin America and Africa. West Africa has been affected for two decades with a significant increase in the last ten years. In Côte d'Ivoire, from 1991 to 1994, 2,246 cases have been detected. In 1995, the cumulative number was 5000 cases distributed throughout the forested and marshy areas of the southern part of the country. In order to assess the magnitude and severity of the disease in Côte d'Ivoire and to collect data necessary for developing a control plan, the National Programme of Buruli Ulcer Control (PNUM) conducted an extensive cross-sectional nation-wide survey. The results provide a total cumulative number of 10,382 cases distributed throughout almost all regions. The number of active cases was 4,642 which was equivalent to a prevalence of 0.32 per 1000. Buruli ulcer is the second most prevalent mycobacteriose in Côte d'Ivoire after tuberculosis and before leprosy. From 1996, the average annual incidence exceeded 2,000 cases. Moreover, the main identified risk factor was the presence of a watering point used by people nearby. Children were affected at a rate of 57%, with male predominance, while in adult cases, the female rate was higher. Children and women enjoyed higher recovery rates. Ulcerated cases represented 89.5% of active ones against 6.5% for oedematous forms and 4% in nodule cases. Definitive sequelae were more frequently observed in children with no difference of sex. We conclude that Buruli ulcer has been endemic in Côte d'Ivoire and is characterised by the severity of the lesions.