Mycetoma is a devastating, chronic infectious disease of the skin and subcutaneous tissue that can be either bacterial in origin (actinomycetoma) or fungal (eumycetoma). Infection results from inoculation of the infectious pathogen via puncture wounds from thorns or other sharp objects, typically on the foot. Most of those affected by mycetoma live in remote rural locations and are very impoverished (and hence barefoot) and/or agricultural workers or herdsmen. The incidence and prevalence of the disease has not been well known (mycetoma is not a notifiable disease and there are no surveillance mechanisms in place). Unfortunately, a combination of limited healthcare infrastructure in endemic regions (with no simple point-of-care diagnostic test available), limited health education and disease awareness, and the painless slow progression of mycetoma, leads many patients to present with advanced infection. New treatment options are desperately needed (the pipeline for mycetoma currently includes just one anti-fungal drug, fosravuconazule, under development by the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative; DNDi), along with improved diagnosis, disease surveillance and disease awareness.
Our ISNTD Disease Brief on mycetoma introduces the disease, and gives an overview of both current treatments as well as those in the pipeline. Written in April 2016, this ISNTD Disease Brief sought to drive the advocacy for international coordination on mycetoma research and control and for this disease to be officially recognised as a Neglected Tropical Disease. Since, the 2016 World Health Assembly adopted a resolution officially recognising mycetoma as a Neglected Tropical Disease, boosting the disease's prioritisation in the global health agenda.
Download the ISNTD Disease Brief on Mycetoma as a PDF.
For more information please contact:
Communications Director (ISNTD)