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Jithin Yohannan, Bing He, Jiangxia Wang, Gregory Greene, Yvette Schein, Harran Mkocha, Beatriz Munoz, Thomas C. Quinn, Charlotte Gaydos, Sheila K. West; Geospatial Distribution and Clustering of Chlamydia trachomatis in Communities Undergoing Mass Azithromycin Treatment. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(7):4144-4150. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.14-14148.
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We detected spatial clustering of households with Chlamydia trachomatis infection (CI) and active trachoma (AT) in villages undergoing mass treatment with azithromycin (MDA) over time.
We obtained global positioning system (GPS) coordinates for all households in four villages in Kongwa District, Tanzania. Every 6 months for a period of 42 months, our team examined all children under 10 for AT, and tested for CI with ocular swabbing and Amplicor. Villages underwent four rounds of annual MDA. We classified households as having ≥1 child with CI (or AT) or having 0 children with CI (or AT). We calculated the difference in the K function between households with and without CI or AT to detect clustering at each time point.
Between 918 and 991 households were included over the 42 months of this analysis. At baseline, 306 households (32.59%) had ≥1 child with CI, which declined to 73 households (7.50%) at 42 months. We observed borderline clustering of households with CI at 12 months after one round of MDA and statistically significant clustering with growing cluster sizes between 18 and 24 months after two rounds of MDA. Clusters diminished in size at 30 months after 3 rounds of MDA. Active trachoma did not cluster at any time point.
This study demonstrates that CI clusters after multiple rounds of MDA. Clusters of infection may increase in size if the annual antibiotic pressure is removed. The absence of growth after the three rounds suggests the start of control of transmission.
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