Buruli Ulcer Foundation

The McCord Research Buruli Foundation is pleased to fund the work of The Merritt Lab at Michigan State University as they investigate possible links between biting aquatic insects and the transmission of the Buruli Ulcer in West Africa.

Our Work

The Foundation currently funds activities in three areas: athletics at the University of Iowa; research fellowships in the University of Iowa biosciences department; and independent labs working on researching Buruli Ulcer.

The Foundation’s unique Pennies Have Power program utilizes the fundraising skills of children helping children, by empowering grade schoolers to raise money to help Ghanaian children suffering with the Buruli Ulcer.

The Buruli Ulcer

The Buruli Ulcer is a skin disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium ulcerans, which is a genetic cousin to the bacteria that causes leprosy and tuberculosis. Like leprosy, patients with the Buruli ulcer develop open and unattractive sores on their body that can eventually cripple and even kill them.

Distribution of the Disease

Reported or suspected in 30 tropical countries. Approximately 7,000 cases per year.

  • Endemic areas usually near permanent wetlands in warm climate.
  • Remote rural communities
  • Associated with changes in environment that affect surface water (deforestation, flooding, introduction of irrigation, etc.)
  • Children under 15 account for 75 percent of cases
  • Detection peaks in 10-14 and 75-79 age groups



  • Proximity to slow-moving or stagnant water identified as a risk factor


  • Directly from water-soil reservoir, entering through skin trauma insect transmission (water bug or mosquito)


  • Mycobacterium ulcerans
  • Infection of subcutaneous fat cells
  • Bacteria releases the toxin mycolatone
  • Cytotoxic
  • Immunosuppressive properties
  • Incubation period three to four months

Pennies Have Power

Pennies Have Power is a simple but life-changing charity that has been established to end the suffering of thousands of children. Called one of the “10 forgotten diseases,” the Buruli Ulcer claims 70 percent of its victims from the ranks of children under the age of 15. This is why we are reaching out to the children of the world to help the children of Africa.

Our Charity has been established to fund programs that will help find a cure for the Buruli Ulcer and to make an all out effort to help the children who are suffering.

Fore more information on the subject, please visit the Buruli Ulcer Foundation.

2 thoughts on “Buruli Ulcer Foundation

  1. Chuck says:

    This is great work you are doing! I really like the idea of the Pennies Have Power program. It is important to get young people involved in helping others! Keep up the good work!!


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