The objective of this review was to determine the best available evidence on the most effective treatment of Madura foot.
Madura foot or mycetoma is a chronic granulomatous soft-tissue infection that is endemic to several regions of Africa and Asia. It may be of fungal (eumycetoma) or bacterial (actinomycetoma) origin, warranting therapy with either antifungal or antibacterial medication as well as surgery. Without timely intervention, it often results in lifelong disability. However, it is unclear what regimes are most effective for treatment.
This review considered studies that included individuals of all ages with Madura foot (actinomycetoma or eumycetoma) as confirmed by microbiological or histological studies. Studies that evaluated antibiotic and antifungal regimens (any drug, dosage, frequency, duration) as well as surgical interventions (wound debridement, advanced excision or limb amputation) for Madura foot were included. Outcomes of interest were disease resolution (as determined by complete healing of mycetoma lesion after treatment), recurrence (return of mycetoma lesion after successful treatment) and mortality. Although this review considered both experimental and epidemiological study designs for inclusion, only case series and individual case reports were identified and were therefore included in the review.
A three-step search strategy, involving an initial search, a second more comprehensive search using identified keywords and a third search involving the reference lists of included articles, was utilized. Ten databases were searched. An additional 13 sources were searched for gray and/or unpublished literature. Included studies were assessed by two independent reviewers for methodological validity prior to inclusion in the review using standardized critical appraisal instruments from the Joanna Briggs Institute. Disagreements were resolved through discussion or with a third reviewer. A data extraction tool was used to extract data on interventions, populations, study designs and outcomes of significance to the review question. Statistical pooling was not possible, therefore a narrative synthesis was performed.
Thirty-one studies were included in the review (27 case reports and four case series). A total of 47 patients with Madura foot were analyzed. Twenty-five had eumycetoma, 21 actinomycetoma and one had both. Therapy involved varying dosages of sulfa drugs (co-trimoxazole and dapsone), amikacin and tetracyclines administered for the therapy of actinomycetoma with resolution of disease in all affected patients. The azole derivatives (itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole, fluconazole and miconazole) as well as co-trimoxazole were the most commonly employed drugs for eumycetoma, with resolution of disease in 88% of included patients. Surgery was performed in a total of 21 patients with resolution of disease in all cases. The overall resolution rate following therapy was 95.7%.
Therapy for Madura foot is informed by case series and case reports which provide low level evidence for practice. Antimicrobials in conjunction with surgery lead to resolution of disease.