Dr. Jubin Osei-Mensah, Vera Serwaa Opoku, Francis Adjei Osei, Dr. Mrs. Linda Batsa Debrah, Prof. Alexander Yaw Debrah, Ruth Boateng, Eglah Agyeiwaa Appiah, Aliu Mohammed, Seth Wiredu, Paul Antwi, Nancy Ackam, Abu Abudu Rahamani, Eunice Kuutiero, Derrick Adu Mensah, Fatima Amponsah Fordjour, Ernest Amanor, Peter Akosah Gyamfi and Wellington Owusu.


Group leader: Prof. Richard O. Phillips

Phone: +233 209140451
E-Mail:  phillips@kccr.de

Post Docs: Dr. Michael Frimpong

Doctoral Students

Dr. Justice Justice Boakye-Appiah
Mr Aloysius Loglo

Graduate students:

Mabel Sarpong-Duah
Benedette Agbavor

Technical Staff (field):

Abass M. Kabiru (Agogo),
Elizabeth Ofori (Tepa),
George Amofa (Dunkwa)
Wilson Tuah (Nkawie)

Clinical Scientists:

Dr. Solomon Gyabaah,
Dr. Kwaku Gyasi Danso

Master/Bachelor Students:

Francisca Naana Sarpong,
Hubert S. Ahor


Several West African countries are badly affected by Buruli ulcer, an unsightly skin condition caused by infection with Mycobacterium ulcerans. Buruli ulcer affects predominantly the upper and lower limbs of patients and common in rural tropical communities in West and Central Africa. In Ghana it is one of the commonest skin NTDs.

The Buruli ulcer group is particularly interested in promoting approaches aimed at early detection of the disease, understanding the mechanisms underlying disease pathogenesis, improving diagnostic confirmation and optimization of antibiotic treatment and its outcomes.

The group currently collaborates extensively with local partners and international partners from all over the world including Africa, United Kingdom, USA, Europe in carrying out research aimed at improving the care of Buruli ulcer patients globally. Our activities include training, planning, supervision, implementation of clinical and epidemiological studies.

Research Projects

Ongoing Research projects:

Evaluation of a nitric oxide generating dressing (EDX110) to improve management of Buruli ulcer disease

Treatment of Buruli ulcer disease caused by Mycobacterium ulcerans with antibiotics, rifampicin with clarithromycin given daily for 8 weeks has transformed the management of the disease. However, the rate of healing is highly variable even in patients with seemingly similar lesions. Preliminary evidence from studies in Ghana suggest that factors contributing to variability in healing rate include the initial bacterial load and/or development of paradoxical reactions. One approach to solving this problem would be to enhance killing of M. ulcerans. The antibiotics used as first line therapy were chosen for their bactericidal potency in a mouse model of M. ulcerans infection and it is unlikely that these can be improved upon particularly given the increasing global threat of antimicrobial resistance. We therefore propose an alternative approach, using concurrent treatment with a novel Nitric oxide-generating wound dressing and the antibiotics to enhance healing.

The primary objective is:

  • To compare healing, as measured by percentage area reduction, of EDX110 dressing with oral rifampicin and clarithromycin versus ‘Usual Care’ with routine Vaseline gauze dressing and oral rifampicin and clarithromycin.

Secondary objectives include:

  • A comparison of the number of complete healers and the recurrence rate in EDX 110 dressing and Vaseline gauze dressing groups.
  • A comparison of rate of killing of ulcerans in EDX 110 dressing and Vaseline gauze dressing groups.
  • Effect of treatment on the immune profiles of stimulated blood cells for biomarkers of healing
  • A comparison of the tolerability of the two dressings.
  • Training/ Mentoring of a cadre of Junior Scientists (PhD/Master students/Post doc/Clinical scientists)
  • Training of village volunteers in the use and application of the dressing materials

Study design

The study has been designed as a prospective randomized open-blinded end-point (PROBE) study of either rifampicin 10mg/kg and clarithromycin 15mg/kg daily AND Nitric oxide-generating gel dressing (EDX 110) applied on alternate days to the wound or rifampicin 10mg/kg and clarithromycin 15mg/kg daily AND Vaseline gauze dressings applied daily to the wound representing current standard of care. This will be conducted at the KCCR, Ghana and Agogo Presbyterian Hospital, Tepa and Dunkwa Government Hospitals all in Ghana.

Expected Impact

If treatment with topical Nitric oxide combined with oral antibiotics causes more rapid killing of M. ulcerans and enhances healing, treatment will be shortened and made more convenient for patients. This will improve the delivery of treatment. The study will likely produce high impact scientific papers. There will be a significant impact on the pool of trained junior scientists.

The trial has been registered with the Pan African Clinical Trial Registry with identification number PACTR201812819039144. (https://pactr.samrc.ac.za/TrialDisplay.aspx?TrialID=5795) (www.pactr.org).

“This project is part of the EDCTP2 programme supported by the European Union”.



 It is cofunded by Edixomed Limited, UK, which provided the Nitric oxide dressings free of charge.

The role of coagulation in the pathogenesis of Buruli ulcer

The necrotic subcutaneous tissue of the Buruli lesions can be extensive. Wound healing is a major issue in Buruli ulcer and healing rates can range widely between patients, although it is not clear why. Haemostatic components including thrombomodulin have known roles in wound healing, therefore this research will throw light onto these under-explored areas. This is a collaborative study with the University of Surrey (UK) and sponsored by a Wellcome Trust grant to Dr Rachel Simmonds. The overarching hypothesis is that disordered haemostasis in the skin tissue of BU patients initiates lesion formation and determines clinical susceptibility.  Here we at explore that role of haemostasis (blood clotting) in the pathogenesis of Buruli ulcer.

This study will substantially increase our understanding of the pathogenic mechanism of Buruli ulcer lesion development. It will show whether it might be possible to improve BU treatment strategies by harnessing anticoagulants alongside antibiotics to reduce healing times. It will contribute to knowledge of the interaction between coagulation and infectious diseases more widely.

Pathogenesis and management of M. ulcerans disease, Buruli ulcer  

This study sponsored by the MRC/DFID African Research Leader scheme aims to identify markers of rapid response to antibiotic treatment in Mycobacterium ulcerans disease and to investigate the pathogenesis of oedematous disease and paradoxical reactions in M. ulcerans disease. Methods include molecular, mass spectrometry and immunological approaches using flow cytometry. Proteome biomarkers are validated for field applicability.

Using a novel a novel molecular assay we already show that patients with detectable viable organisms after antibiotic treatment had significantly higher bacterial load at baseline, longer healing time and lower healing rate at week 4 compared with those with undetectable viable organisms at baseline or by week 4.

Results suggest that although current antibiotic therapy for BU disease is highly successful in most patients it may be possible to abbreviate treatment to 4 weeks in patients with a low initial bacterial load. On the other hand persistent infection contributes to slow healing in patients with a high bacterial load, some of whom may need antibiotics for longer than 8 weeks. 1 PhD students and 4 MSc students have been trained on this project

Co-infection of M. tuberculosis or M ulcerans with Mansonella perstans in Ghana and Cameroun

The DFG provided sponsorship for our group and partners in the University of Bonn and Duesseldorf ( Germany) and University of Buea (Cameroon) to better understand the effect of Mansonella perstans co-infection on mycobacterial diseases such as Buruli ulcer and Tuberculosis.

M. perstans is one of the most prevalent human parasites in sub-Saharan Africa. However the epidemiology of M. perstans in most regions and relevant transmitting vector species are poorly defined. We were able to characterize ecological zones prerequisite for M. perstans infection and identified a potential novel vector for transmission of M. perstans in the initial project period. Amongst others we demonstrated that M. perstans infections are strongly linked to dense equatorial rainforest areas and mass drug administration with the anti-helminthic drug ivermectin had limited efficacy on M. perstans prevalence in areas with optimal vector habitat (Wanji el al. Parasit Vectors, 2016). In addition, we could show that Culicoides (C.) milnei is the transmitting vector for M. perstans in South-West region within Cameroon

Mansonella perstans (M. perstans) epidemiology, the role of Wolbachia endosymbionts and M. perstans infection effects on host immunity. In addition we characterized immunological mechanisms crucial for protection as well as pathognomonic features of mycobacterial diseases (i.e. Buruli disease and tuberculosis). Outstanding progress has been made in several topics and great collaborations have been established between the partner institutes from Ghana, Cameroon, and Germany. These achievements enable us now to target challenging efficacy trials on the role of M. perstans for M. bovis BCG vaccine induced protection as well as tuberculosis disease manifestation and recovery in Ghana and Cameroon.

Recently completed projects:

Training and field evaluation of new diagnostic tool for Buruli ulcer in Ghana

The goal of this work is to establish fluorescent thin layer chromatography in endemic sites and to train laboratory technicians from 6 Buruli ulcer endemic districts in Ghana on a standard protocol for this new diagnostic tool for Buruli ulcer disease and in its field evaluation.


  1. Sarpong-Duah M, Frimpong M, Beissner M, Saar M, Laing K, Sarpong F, Loglo AD, Abass KM, Frempong M, Sarfo FS, Bretzel G, Wansbrough-Jones M, Phillips RO. Clearance of viable Mycobacterium ulcerans from Buruli ulcer lesions during antibiotic treatment as determined by combined 16S rRNA reverse transcriptase /IS 2404 qPCR assay. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017 Jul 3;11(7):e0005695. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0005695. eCollection 2017 Jul. PubMed PMID: 28671942
  1. Debrah LB, Nausch N, Opoku VS, Owusu W, Mubarik Y, Berko DA, Wanji S, Layland LE, Hoerauf A, Jacobsen M, Debrah AY, Phillips RO. Epidemiology of Mansonella perstans in the middle belt of Ghana. Parasit Vectors. 2017 Jan 7;10(1):15. doi: 10.1186/s13071-016-1960-0. PubMed PMID: 28061905
  1. Nausch N, Antwi-Berko D, Mubarik Y, Abass KM, Owusu W, Owusu-Dabo E, Debrah LB, Debrah AY, Jacobsen M, Phillips RO. Analysis of Mycobacterium ulcerans-specific T-cell cytokines for diagnosis of Buruli ulcer disease and as potential indicator for disease progression. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2017 Feb 27;11(2):e0005415. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0005415.
  1. Velink A, Woolley RJ, Phillips RO, Abass KM, van der Werf TS, Agumah E, de Zeeuw J, Klis S, Stienstra Y. Former Buruli Ulcer Patients’ Experiences and Wishes May Serve as a Guide to Further Improve Buruli Ulcer Management. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2016 Dec 29;10(12):e0005261. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0005261. PubMed PMID: 28033343; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5226828.
  1. Richard Phillips, Fred Sarfo, Mabel Sarpong Duah, Mark Wansbrough Jones, Michael Frimpong: Buruli ulcer: wound care and rehabilitation. Chronic Wound Care Management and Research 2016; Volume 3(Issue 1) pages 73-84 . DOI:10.2147/CWCMR.S85469
  1. Barogui YT, Klis SA, Johnson RC, Phillips RO, van der Veer E, van Diemen C, van der Werf TS, Stienstra Y. Genetic Susceptibility and Predictors of Paradoxical Reactions in Buruli Ulcer. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2016 Apr 20;10(4):e0004594. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004594. PubMed PMID: 27097163; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4838240.
  1. Boakye-Appiah JK, Steinmetz AR, Pupulampu P, Ofori-Yirenkyi S, Tetteh I, Frimpong M, Oppong P, Opare-Sem O, Norman BR, Stienstra Y, van der Werf TS, Wansbrough-Jones M, Bonsu F, Obeng-Baah J, Phillips RO. High prevalence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis among patients with rifampicin resistance using GeneXpert Mycobacterium tuberculosis/rifampicin in Ghana. Int J Mycobacteriol.  2016 Jun;5(2):226-30. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmyco.2016.02.004. PubMed PMID: 27242237.
  1. Woolley RJ, Velink A, Phillips RO, Thompson WA, Abass KM, van der Werf TS, de Zeeuw J, Stienstra Y. Experiences of Pain and Expectations for Its Treatment Among Former Buruli Ulcer Patients. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2016 Nov 2;95(5):1011-1015. PubMed PMID: 27621302; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5094208.
  1. Sarfo FS, Phillips R, Wansbrough-Jones M, Simmonds RE. Recent advances: role of mycolactone in the pathogenesis and monitoring of Mycobacterium ulcerans infection/Buruli ulcer disease. Cell Microbiol. 2016 Jan;18(1):17-29. doi: 10.1111/cmi.12547. Review. PubMed PMID: 26572803; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4705457
  1. Beissner M, Phillips RO, Battke F, Bauer M, Badziklou K, Sarfo FS, Maman I, Rhomberg A, Piten E, Frimpong M, Huber KL, Symank D, Jansson M, Wiedemann FX, Banla Kere A, Herbinger KH, Löscher T, Bretzel G. Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification for Laboratory Confirmation of Buruli Ulcer Disease-Towards a Point-of-Care Test. PLoS Negl Trop Dis.  2015 Nov 13;9(11):e0004219. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004219. PubMed PMID: 26566026; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4643924.
  1. Wadagni A, Frimpong M, Phanzu DM, Ablordey A, Kacou E, Gbedevi M, Marion E, Xing Y, Babu VS, Phillips RO, Wansbrough-Jones M, Kishi Y, Asiedu K. Simple, Rapid Mycobacterium ulcerans Disease Diagnosis from Clinical Samples by Fluorescence of Mycolactone on Thin Layer Chromatography.  PLoS Negl Trop Dis.  2015 Nov 19;9(11):e0004247. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004247. PubMed PMID: 26583925; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4652903.
  1. Frimpong M, Sarpong-Duah M, Beissner M, Sarfo, FS,, Loglo AD, Tannor E, Awuah NY1, Frempong M, Adjei O, Wansbrough-JonesM, Bretzel G, Phillips RO. Microscopy for Acid Fast Bacilli: A Useful but Neglected Tool in Routine Laboratory Diagnosis of Buruli Ulcer. J Trop Dis 2015, 3: 158. doi:10.4172/2329891X.1000158
  1. Phillips RO, Phanzu DM, Beissner M, Badziklou K, Luzolo EK, Sarfo FS, Halatoko WA, Amoako Y, Frimpong M, Kabiru AM, Piten E, Maman I, Bidjada B, Koba A, Awoussi KS, Kobara B, Nitschke J, Wiedemann FX, Kere AB, Adjei O, Löscher T, Fleischer B, Bretzel G, Herbinger KH. Effectiveness of routine BCG vaccination on buruli ulcer disease: a case-control study in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana and Togo. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2015 Jan 8;9(1):e3457. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003457. PubMed PMID: 25569674; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4287572.
  1. Alferink M, de Zeeuw J, Sopoh G, Agossadou C, Abass KM, Phillips RO, Loth S, Jutten E, Barogui YT, Stewart RE, van der Werf TS, Stienstra Y, Ranchor AV. Pain Associated with Wound Care Treatment among Buruli Ulcer Patients from Ghana and Benin. PLoS One. 2015 Jun 1;10(6):e0119926. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0119926. PubMed PMID: 26030764; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4451111.
  1. Abass KM, van der Werf TS, Phillips RO, Sarfo FS, Abotsi J, Mireku SO, Thompson WN, Asiedu K, Stienstra Y, Klis SA. Buruli ulcer control in a highly endemic district in Ghana: role of community-based surveillance volunteers. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2015 Jan;92(1):115-7. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.14-0405. PubMed PMID: 25331802; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4347364.
  1. de Zeeuw J, Alferink M, Barogui YT, Sopoh G, Phillips RO, van der Werf TS, Loth S, Molenbuur B, Plantinga M, Ranchor AV, Stienstra Y. Assessment and Treatment of Pain during Treatment of Buruli Ulcer. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2015 Sep 24;9(9):e0004076. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004076. PubMed PMID: 26402069; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4581868.
  1. Niang F, Sarfo FS, Frimpong M, Guenin-Macé L, Wansbrough-Jones M, Stinear T, Phillips RO, Demangel C. Metabolomic profiles delineate mycolactone signature in Buruli ulcer disease.  Sci Rep. 2015 Dec 4;5:17693. doi: 10.1038/srep17693. PubMed PMID: 26634444; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4669498.
  1. Kollie K, Amoako YA, Ake J, Mulbah T, Zaizay F, Abass M, Lehman L, Paintsil A, Sarfo F, Lugala C, Tiendrebeogo A, Phillips R, Asiedu K.Buruli ulcer in Liberia, 2012. Emerg Infect Dis. 2014 Mar;20(3):494-6. doi: 10.3201/eid2003.130708. PubMed PMID: 24565610; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3944850.
  1. Richard O. Phillips, Fred S. Sarfo, Mohammed K. Abass, Justice Abotsi, Tuah Wilson, Mark Forson, Yaw A. Amoako, William Thompson, Kingsley Asiedu, Mark Wansbrough-Jones. Clinical and Bacteriological Efficacy of Combination of Rifampicin and Streptomycin for 2 weeks followed by Rifampicin and Clarithromycin for 6 weeks for treatment of Mycobacterium ulcerans Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. 2014 Feb;58(2):1161-6.
  1. Jansson M, Beissner M, Phillips RO, Badziklou K, Piten E, Maman I, Sarfo FS, Huber KL, Rhomberg A, Symank D, Wagner M, Wiedemann F, Nitschke J, Banla Kere A, Herbinger KH, Adjei O, Löscher T, Bretzel G. Molecular Determination of Rifampicin Resistance in Clinical Samples of Patients with Buruli Ulcer Disease: A Comparison of two Assays J Clin Microbiol. 2014 Apr;52(4):1246-9. doi: 10.1128/JCM.03119-13. PubMed PMID: 24478404; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3993512.
  1. Vandelannoote K, Jordaens K, Bomans P, Leirs H, Durnez L, Affolabi D, Sopoh G, Aguiar J, Phanzu DM, Kibadi K, Eyangoh S, Manou LB, Phillips RO, Adjei O, Ablordey A, Rigouts L, Portaels F, Eddyani M, de Jong BC.Insertion sequence element single nucleotide polymorphism typing provides insights into the population structure and evolution of Mycobacterium ulcerans across Africa. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2014 Feb;80(3):1197-209. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02774-13. PubMed PMID: 24296504; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3911215.
  1. Williamson H, Phillips R, Sarfo S, Wansbrough-Jones M, Small P. Genetic diversity of PCR-positive, culture-negative and culture-positive Mycobacterium ulcerans isolated from Buruli ulcer patients in Ghana. PLoS One. 2014 Feb 10;9(2):e88007. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088007. PubMed PMID: 24520343; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3919753.
  1. Klis S, Stienstra Y, Phillips RO, Abass KM, Tuah W, van der Werf TS. Long term streptomycin toxicity in the treatment of Buruli Ulcer: follow-up of participants in the BURULICO drug trial. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2014 Mar 13;8(3):e2739. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002739. PubMed PMID: 24625583; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3953024.
  1. Sarfo FS, Thompson W, Phillips RO, Paintsil A, Abass MK, Frimpong M, Abotsi J, Asiedu K, Wansbrough-Jones MH. A severe case of Buruli ulcer disease with pleural effusions. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2014 Jun 19;8(6):e2868. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002868. PubMed PMID: 24945409; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4063708.
  1. Phillips RO, Sarfo FS, Landier J, Oldenburg R, Frimpong M, Wansbrough-Jones M, Abass K, Thompson W, Forson M, Fontanet A, Niang F, Demangel C. Combined inflammatory and metabolic defects reflected by reduced serum protein levels in patients with Buruli ulcer disease. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2014 Apr 10;8(4):e2786. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002786. PubMed PMID: 24722524; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3983110.
  1. Phillips RO, Frimpong M, Sarfo FS, Kretschmer B, Beissner M, Debrah A, Ampem-Amoako Y, Abass KM, Thompson W, Duah MS, Abotsi J, Adjei O, Fleischer B, Bretzel G, Wansbrough-Jones M, Jacobsen M. Infection with Mansonella perstans Nematodes in Buruli Ulcer Patients, Ghana. Emerg Infect Dis. 2014 Jun;20(6):1000-3. doi: 10.3201/eid2006.131501. PubMed PMID: 24857346; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4036786.
  1. Sarfo FS, Phillips RO, Zhang J, Abass MK, Abotsi J, Amoako YA, Adu-Sarkodie Y, Robinson C, Wansbrough-Jones MH. Kinetics of mycolactone in human subcutaneous tissue during antibiotic therapy for Mycobacterium ulcerans disease. BMC Infect Dis. 2014 Apr 15;14:202. doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-14-202. PubMed PMID: 24731247; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4021496.
  1. Klis S, van der Werf TS, Phillips RO, Sarfo FS, Wansbrough-Jones M, Stienstra Y. Oral treatment for patients with Buruli ulcer co-infected with HIV: think twice. 2014 Mar 13;28(5):797-8. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000000146. PubMed PMID: 24979651.
  1. Klis S, Ranchor A, Phillips RO, Abass KM, Tuah W, Loth S, Velding K, van der Werf TS, Stienstra Y. Good quality of life in former Buruli ulcer patients with small lesions: long-term follow-up of the BURULICO trial. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2014 Jul 10;8(7):e2964. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002964. PubMed PMID: 25010061; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4091870.
  1. Geroult S, Phillips RO, Demangel C. Adhesion of the ulcerative pathogen Mycobacterium ulcerans to DACC-coated dressings. J Wound Care. 2014 Aug;23(8):417-8, 422-4. doi: 10.12968/jowc.2014.23.8.417. Erratum in: J Wound Care. 2014 Dec;23(12):642. PubMed PMID: 25139600.
  1. Phillips RO, Sarfo FS, Abass MK, Frimpong M, Ampadu E, Forson M, Amoako YA, Thompson W, Asiedu K, Wansbrough-Jones M. Reply to “compliance with antimicrobial therapy for buruli ulcer". Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2014 Oct;58(10):6341. doi: 10.1128/AAC.03874-14. PubMed PMID: 25225343; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4187934.
  1. de Zeeuw J, Omansen TF, Douwstra M, Barogui YT, Agossadou C, Sopoh GE, Phillips RO, Johnson C, Abass KM, Saunderson P, Dijkstra PU, van der Werf TS, Stienstra Y. Persisting social participation restrictions among former Buruli ulcer patients in Ghana and Benin. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2014 Nov 13;8(11):e3303. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003303. Erratum in: PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2014 Dec;8(12):e3418. Stientstra, Ymkje [corrected to Stienstra, Ymkje]. PubMed PMID: 25392915; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4230927.
  1. de Zeeuw J, Douwstra M, Omansen TF, Sopoh GE, Johnson C, Phillips RO, Alferink M, Saunderson P, Van der Werf TS, Dijkstra PU, Stienstra Y. Psychometric properties of the participation scale among former buruli ulcer patients in Ghana and Benin. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2014 Nov 13;8(11):e3254. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0003254. PubMed PMID: 25393289; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4230837.
  1. Marcus Beissner, Dominik Symank, Richard Odame Phillips, Yaw Ampem Amoako, Nana-Yaa Awua-Boateng, Fred Stephen Sarfo, Moritz Jansson, Kristina Lydia Huber, Karl-Heinz Herbinger, Florian Battke, Thomas Loscher, Ohene Adjei, Gisela Bretzel. Detection of viable Mycobacterium ulcerans in clinical samples by a novel combined 16S rRNA reverse transcriptase/IS2404 real-time qPCR assay. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2012;6(8):e1756.
  1. Fred S. Sarfo, Caroline J. Lavender, Janet A. M. Fyfe, Paul D. R. Johnson, Timothy P. Stinear, Richard O. Phillips. Mycobacterium ulcerans DNA not detected in faecal samples from Buruli ulcer patients: results of a pilot study. PLoS One. 2011 May 4; 6(5): e19611.
  1. Fred S. Sarfo, Fabien Le Chevalier, N’Guetta Aka, Richard O. Phillips, Yaw Amoako, Ivo G.Boneca, Pascal Lenormand, Mireille Dosso, Mark Wansbrough-Jones, Romain Veyron-Churlet, Laure Guenin-Mace, Caroline Demangel. Mycolactone diffuses into the peripheral blood of Buruli ulcer patients–implications for diagnosis and disease monitoring. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2011 Jul;5(7):e1237.
  1. Thomas Kariuki, Richard Phillips, Sammy Njenga, Ole F. Olesen, Paul R. Klatser, Riccardo Porro, Sarah Lock, Maria Hermı´nia Cabral, Martina Gliber, Detlef Hanne. Research and capacity building for control of neglected tropical diseases: the need for a different approach.PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2011; 5(5): e1020.
  1. Fred Stephen Sarfo, Richard O. Phillips, Brian Rangers, Engy A. Mahrous, Richard E. Lee, Edward Tarelli, Kingsley B. Asiedu, Pamela L. Small, Mark H. Wansbrough-Jones. Detection of Mycolactone A/B in Mycobacterium ulcerans-Infected Human Tissue. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2010;4(1):e577.
  1. Fred Stephen Sarfo, Richard Phillips, Kingsley Asiedu, Edwin Ampadu, Nana Bobi, Elizabeth Adentwe, Awuli Lartey, Ishmael Tetteh, and Mark. Wansbrough-Jones. Clinical efficacy of combination of rifampin and streptomycin for treatment of Mycobacterium ulceransAntimicrob Agents Chemother. 2010 Sep;54(9):3678-85.
  1. Phillips Richard Odame, Sarfo Fred Stephen, Osei-Sarpong F, Boateng Akuamuah, Tetteh Ishmael, Lartey Awule, Adentwe Elizabeth, Opare William, Asiedu Kingsley Bampoe, Wansbrough-Jones Mark. Sensitivity of PCR targeting Mycobacterium ulcerans by use of fine-needle aspirates for diagnosis of Buruli ulcer. J Clin Microbiol. 2009 Apr; 47(4): 924-6. Epub 2009 Feb 9.
  1. Huygen Kris, Adjei Ohene, Affolabi Dissou, Bretzel Gisela, Demangel Caroline, Fleischer Bernhard, Johnson R Christian, Pedrosa J, Phanzu DM, Phillips Richard Odame, Pluschke Gerd, Siegmund Vera, Singh M, van der Werf Tjip S, Wansbrough-Jones Mark, Portaels Francois. Buruli ulcer disease: prospects for a vaccine. Med Microbiol Immunol. 2009 May; 198(2): 69-77.


  • European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership
  • WHO/ TDR, the Special Programme for Research andTraining in Tropical Diseases co sponsored by UNICEF, UNDP, the World Bank and WHO Impact Award 2015
  • UK Medical Research Council (MRC) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID)
  • German Research Foundation (DFG)



Dr. Stephen Fred Sarfo (2014): “The microbiological, clinical, immunological and mycolactone response to antibiotic therapy for M. ulcerans disease in humans and in a mouse model"

Dr. Michael Frimpong (2015): “Cellular Immune response to Mycobacterium ulcerans infection”

Dr Daniel Antwi Berko (2017): “Analysis of the immune-modulatory effects of Mansonella perstans infection associated with concomitant Mycobacterium ulcerans disease and Tuberculosis infection in Ghana.”

Master of Philosophy

Mrs Mabel Sarpong-Duah (2016): “Detection of viability markers of Mycobacterium ulcerans and their association with healing in Buruli ulcer patients “

Mr. Aloysius D. Loglo (2016): “Analysis of the Vaccine Potential of Plasmid DNA Encoding Mycolactone Polyketide Synthase Domains in patients with M. ulcerans disease”

Ms. Benedette Agbavor (2016): Comparative detection of Mycobacterium ulcerans DNA by PCR from FTA cards, cell  solution and RNA protect solution

Ms Vera Opoku (2016): Molecular and epidemiological studies on disease and vector of Mansonella perstans