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J Javaloy, C Ferrer, JR Villada, MT Vidal, ME Mulet, JL Alio; Acute Trachoma Among An Infant Saharian Population . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):3062.
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Purpose:To ascertain the prevalence of acute trachoma as a supposed endemic disease among infants in the Saharian Refugee Camps of Tindouf (Algeria). Methods:We evaluated 527 children between 4 and 14 years old in the Camp’s schools during October 2001. Each of then had an examination including slit lamp checking of anterior segment and two conjunctival swabs, one for the detection of membrane lipopolisacaride through the quick inmuno-essay test Clearview Chlamydia MF (Unipath, Bedford, England) and the other for the detection of specific DNA through PCR. DNA was extracted from cells, using the Instagene kit (BioRad GmbH, Hilden, Germany) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. These extracts were used as templates in PCR assay a Chlamydia plasmid –specific PCR assay incorporarting the primers KL-1 and KL-2, derived from the sequence of the conserved cryptic plasmid. Results:Chlamydia trachomatis was suspected in 5,7% of examined children, being papillary hypertrophy the most frequently seen clinical sign. We detected scarring changes secondary to Trachoma in 11,7% of the children. Only 4 cases (0,8%) were positive to the inmuno-essay test – showed an specificity and sensitivity very low (50% and 16,67% respectively) – and 12 cases (2,42%) were positive to the PCR. Conclusion:Acute Trachoma prevalence is much lower than expected among infants in the Saharian population. The possible reasons could be the recent improvements in hygiene and health care. Sequelae from old Trachoma are much more frequent. Clearview inmuno-essay Test is not useful in the detection of the disease.
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