Seeking better cures for Buruli ulcer through mathematical modelling
This joint project between the Universities of Surrey and Southampton is delving into the mathematical modelling of host:pathogen interactions in Buruli ulcer disease. The ultimate aim is to understand exactly how the infection grows and thereby improve treatment of the disease by identifying the right physiological aspect to optimise the reversal of symptoms.
Previous research has found that, once a person is infected with the bacteria, particular cells in the skin die much more quickly than others. This is due to the diffusible exotoxin secreted by the bacteria called mycolactone, which causes blood vessels to break down causing the skin to die due to a lack of oxygen.
The team are now using mathematical models to look into how the densities of skin cells respond to the presence of the bacteria and mycolactone. By exploring the interplay between different cell types, possible new avenues of treatment will be revealed.
University of Southampton
NTD Hub Members
Dr Rachel Simmonds