Bacterial infection in scarring trachoma.

Hu, VH; Massae, P; Weiss, HA; Chevallier, C; Onyango, JJ; Afwamba, IA; Mabey, DC; Bailey, RL; Burton, MJ; (2010) Bacterial infection in scarring trachoma. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science. ISSN 0146-0404 DOI:

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Purpose. To assess whether non-chlamydial bacterial infection is associated with trachomatous scarring in adults. Methods. Case-control study of 360 cases with trachomatous scarring but without trichiasis, and 360 controls without scarring. All participants underwent clinical examination and a swab was taken from the inferior conjunctival fornix. Samples were inoculated onto blood and chocolate agar later that day. Results. Bacterial isolates were identified in 54.0% of cases compared to 34.6% of controls (p<0.001). A multivariable logistic regression model adjusting for age and lack of education showed that scarring was associated with the presence of commensal organisms (OR=1.46, 95%CI 1.01-2.09) and was strongly associated with the presence of pathogenic organisms (OR=4.08, 95%CI 1.59-10.45). There was an increasing prevalence of all bacterial isolates with increasing severity of scarring (p-trend<0.001). Conclusion. Trachomatous scarring is strongly associated with non-chlamydial bacterial infection compared to controls. The role of such infection with regard to scarring progression needs to be investigated and may have important implications for trachoma control strategies and blindness prevention.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Infectious and Tropical Diseases > Dept of Clinical Research
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Research Centre: Neglected Tropical Diseases Network
Tropical Epidemiology Group
The International Centre for Evidence in Disability
International Centre for Eye Health
PubMed ID: 21178143
Web of Science ID: 289282600014


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