There are many questions that remain in trachoma control. Some of the most important center around the long term use of mass oral antibiotics. In this proposal, we assess whether we can completely eliminate infection with repeated mass treatments, what happens when treatments are discontinued, and whether targeting treatment to high risk groups can prevent the return of infection. Mass antimicrobial administrations have been remarkably successful in reducing the prevalence of the ocular strains of chlamydia that cause trachoma. Repeated distributions progressively lower the prevalence of infection, and in some cases may even result in local elimination. Mass treatments cannot be continued forever, due to concerns about cost and antibiotic resistance. The hope has been that other measures such as latrine construction and hygiene programs would prevent infection from returning. Unfortunately, no non- antibiotic measure has yet demonstrated an effect on infection. Here, we evaluate how infection returns when antibiotics are discontinued, whether infection can be predictably eliminated, and whether infection can be prevented from returning with targeted treatment strategies. This proposal monitors communities from TANA I (U10 EY016214), a NEI-supported collection of cluster- randomized trachoma trials in Ethiopia. In one of the trials, a total of 111 communities will have received repeated mass oral azithromycin distributions over 42 months (final study visit in Fall 2009). These treatments have lowered, and in some cases may have eliminated, infection. Now, we have an unprecedented opportunity to continue to follow these communities, assessing what measures are necessary, if any, to keep infection from returning. It would take years and a great deal of resources to ever again set up these conditions in such a controlled setting. Continued monitoring of these communities will help us to determine the feasibility of control, local elimination, or even eradication.
(provided by the applicant): Trachoma is the leading cause of infectious blindness worldwide. The WHO has initiated a program designed to control infection to a low enough level that resulting blindness will not be a public health concern. Here, we assess whether loftier goals, such as elimination from large areas or even eradication may be feasible, by monitoring treatment in some of the most severely affected communities in the world.
|Aiemjoy, Kristen; Gebresillasie, Sintayehu; Stoller, Nicole E et al. (2017) Epidemiology of Soil-Transmitted Helminth and Intestinal Protozoan Infections in Preschool-Aged Children in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia. Am J Trop Med Hyg 96:866-872|
|Aiemjoy, Kristen; Stoller, Nicole E; Gebresillasie, Sintayehu et al. (2017) Is Using a Latrine ""A Strange Thing To Do""? A Mixed-Methods Study of Sanitation Preference and Behaviors in Rural Ethiopia. Am J Trop Med Hyg 96:65-73|
|Keenan, Jeremy D; Sahlu, Ida; McGee, Lesley et al. (2016) Nasopharyngeal Pneumococcal Serotypes Before and After Mass Azithromycin Distributions for Trachoma. J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc 5:222-6|
|Gao, Daozhou; Lietman, Thomas M; Porco, Travis C (2015) Antibiotic resistance as collateral damage: the tragedy of the commons in a two-disease setting. Math Biosci 263:121-32|
|Keenan, Jeremy D; Klugman, Keith P; McGee, Lesley et al. (2015) Evidence for clonal expansion after antibiotic selection pressure: pneumococcal multilocus sequence types before and after mass azithromycin treatments. J Infect Dis 211:988-94|
|Lietman, Thomas M; Gebre, Teshome; Abdou, Amza et al. (2015) The distribution of the prevalence of ocular chlamydial infection in communities where trachoma is disappearing. Epidemics 11:85-91|
|Gebresillasie, Sintayehu; Tadesse, Zerihun; Shiferaw, Ayalew et al. (2015) Inter-Rater Agreement between Trachoma Graders: Comparison of Grades Given in Field Conditions versus Grades from Photographic Review. Ophthalmic Epidemiol 22:162-9|
|See, Craig W; O'Brien, Kieran S; Keenan, Jeremy D et al. (2015) The Effect of Mass Azithromycin Distribution on Childhood Mortality: Beliefs and Estimates of Efficacy. Am J Trop Med Hyg 93:1106-9|
|Gaynor, Bruce D; Amza, Abdou; Gebresailassie, Sintayehu et al. (2014) Importance of including borderline cases in trachoma grader certification. Am J Trop Med Hyg 91:577-9|
|Zegans, Michael E; Van Gelder, Russell N (2014) Considerations in understanding the ocular surface microbiome. Am J Ophthalmol 158:420-2|
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