The long-term natural history of trachomatous trichiasis in the gambia.

Burton, MJ; Bowman, RJ; Faal, H; Aryee, EA; Ikumapayi, UN; Alexander, ND; Adegbola, RA; Mabey, DC; Foster, A; Johnson, GJ; Bailey, RL; (2006) The long-term natural history of trachomatous trichiasis in the gambia. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science, 47 (3). pp. 847-52. ISSN 0146-0404 DOI:

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PURPOSE: Trachoma is the leading infectious cause of blindness. However, there are few data on the natural history of trachomatous trichiasis to guide program planning or that investigate its pathogenesis. METHODS: A cohort of Gambians with trichiasis in one or both eyes who had declined surgery was observed. Clinical examinations were performed at baseline and 4 years later. Conjunctival swab samples were collected for Chlamydia trachomatis PCR and bacteriology. RESULTS: One hundred fifty-four people were examined at baseline and 4 years later (241 nonsurgical eyes). At baseline 124 (52%) eyes had major trichiasis (5+ lashes), 75 (31%) minor trichiasis (1-4 lashes), and 42 (17%) no trichiasis. By 4 years, trichiasis had developed in 12 (29%) of 42 previously unaffected eyes. Minor trichiasis progressed to major in 28 (37%) of 75 eyes. New corneal opacification more commonly developed in eyes that had major (10%) compared to minor (5%) trichiasis at baseline. Bacterial infection was common (23%), becoming more frequent with increasing trichiasis. C. trachomatis infection was rare (1%). Conjunctival inflammation was common (29%) and was associated with progressive trichiasis and corneal opacification. CONCLUSIONS: Trichiasis progressed in the long-term in this environment, despite a low prevalence of C. trachomatis. Blinding corneal opacification develops infrequently, unless major trichiasis is present. Epilation and early surgery need to be formally compared for the management of minor trichiasis. The pathologic correlates and promoters of conjunctival inflammation need to be investigated.

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: 16505016
Web of Science ID: 235894300014


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