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Victor H. Hu, Patrick Massae, Helen A. Weiss, Caroline Chevallier, Jecinta J. Onyango, Isaac A. Afwamba, David C. W. Mabey, Robin L. Bailey, Matthew J. Burton; Bacterial Infection in Scarring Trachoma. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(5):2181-2186. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.10-5829.
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To assess whether non-chlamydial bacterial infection is associated with trachomatous scarring in adults.
This was a 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.
Bacterial isolates were identified in 54.0% of cases compared with 34.6% of controls (P < 0.001). A multivariate logistic regression model adjusted for age and lack of education showed that scarring was associated with the presence of commensal organisms (odds ratio [OR], 1.46; 95% confidence interval [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).
Trachomatous scarring is strongly associated with non-chlamydial bacterial infection compared with controls. The role of such infection with regard to scarring progression should be investigated and may have important implications for trachoma control strategies and prevention of blindness.
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