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Tag: Trachoma

Monitoring transmission intensity of trachoma with serology

Trachoma, caused by ocular Chlamydia trachomatis infection, is targeted for global elimination as a public health problem by 2030. To provide evidence for use of antibodies to monitor C. trachomatis transmission, we collated IgG responses to Pgp3 antigen, PCR positivity, and clinical observations from 19,811 children aged 1-9 years in 14 populations. We demonstrate that age-seroprevalence curves consistently shift along a gradient of transmission intensity: rising steeply in populations with high levels of infection and active trachoma and becoming flat in populations near elimination. Seroprevalence (range: 0-54%) and seroconversion rates (range: 0-15 per 100 person-years) correlate with PCR prevalence (r: 0.87, 95% CI: 0.57, 0.97). A seroprevalence threshold of 13.5% (seroconversion rate 2.75 per 100 person-years) identifies clusters with any PCR-identified infection at high sensitivity ( >90%) and moderate specificity (69-75%). Antibody responses in young children provide a robust, generalizable approach to monitor population progress toward and beyond trachoma elimination.

Christine Tedijanto, Anthony W Solomon, Diana L Martin, Scott D Nash, Jeremy D Keenan, Thomas M Lietman, Patrick J Lammie, Kristen Aiemjoy, Abdou Amza, Solomon Aragie, Ahmed M Arzika, E Kelly Callahan, Sydney Carolan, Adisu Abebe Dawed, E Brook Goodhew, Sarah Gwyn, Jaouad Hammou, Boubacar Kadri, Khumbo Kalua, Ramatou Maliki, Beido Nassirou, Fikre Seife, Zerihun Tadesse, Sheila K West, Dionna M Wittberg, Taye Zeru Tadege, Benjamin F Arnold. Nat Commun. 2023 Jun 5;14(1):3269. doi: 10.1038/s41467-023-38940-5.

Evaluation of a Single Dose of Azithromycin for Trachoma in Low-Prevalence Communities


Purpose: Trachoma, caused by repeated ocular infection with Chlamydia trachomatis, is the leading infectious cause of blindness worldwide and is targeted for elimination as a public health problem. We sought to determine whether a one-time azithromycin mass treatment would reduce trachomatous inflammation–follicular (TF) levels below the elimination threshold of 5% in communities with disease prevalence between 5 and 9.9%.

Methods: The study was conducted in 96 sub-village units (balozis) in the Kongwa district of Tanzania which were predicted from prior prevalence surveys to have TF between 5 and 9.9%. Balozis were randomly assigned to the intervention and control arms. The intervention arm received a single mass drug administration of azithromycin. At baseline and 12-month follow-up, ocular exams for trachoma, ocular swabs for detection of chlamydial DNA, and finger prick blood for analysis of anti-chlamydial antibody were taken.

Results: Comparison of baseline and 12-month follow-up showed no significant difference in the overall TF1-9 prevalence by balozi between control and treatment arms. In the treatment arm there was a significant reduction of ocular infection 12 months after treatment (p = 0.004) but no change in the control arm. No change in Pgp3-specific antibody responses were observed after treatment in the control or treatment arms. Anti-CT694 responses increased in both study arms (p = 0.009 for control arm and p = 0.04 for treatment arm).

Conclusion: These data suggest that a single round of MDA may not be sufficient to decrease TF levels below 5% when TF1-9 is between 5 and 9.9% at baseline.

Nana Wilson, Brook Goodhew, Harran Mkocha, Kahaliah Joseph, Claudiu Bandea, Carolyn Black, Joseph Igietseme, Beatriz Munoz, Sheila K. West, Patrick Lammie, Mabula Kasubi & Diana L. Martin. 2019. Ophthalmic Epidemiology; 26(1):1-6. DOI: 10.1080/09286586.2017.1293693