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Jacob T. Cox, Mabula J. Kasubi, Beatriz E. Muñoz, Andrea I. Zambrano, Gregory S. Greene, Harran Mkocha, Meraf A. Wolle, Sheila K. West; Trachomatous Scarring and Infection With Non–Chlamydia Trachomatis Bacteria in Women in Kongwa, Tanzania. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(7):3249-3253. doi: 10.1167/iovs.17-21519.
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To assess for an association between conjunctival infection with nonchlamydial bacterial species and the presence of trachomatous scarring (TS) in women in central Tanzania.
Cross-sectional data were collected from a random sample of women ages 18 and older in 47 trachoma-endemic communities in Kongwa, Tanzania. Each participant completed a survey, provided a conjunctival swab sample, and received an ocular exam to assess for TS. Biologic samples were cultured for bacterial growth and speciation. Contingency tables were used to assess the associations between TS and bacterial carriage.
Complete data was provided by 3882 women (80.7% of invitees). Of all samples, 14% resulted in a positive bacterial isolate. There was no association between TS and nonchlamydial bacterial carriage, whether assessed by species, pathogenicity, or in aggregate. There was a significant association between increasing age and TS severity, but not between age and bacterial carriage. No Corynebacterium was found in the swabs.
This study found no association between TS and nonchlamydial ocular infections, although associations with Corynebacterium cannot be ruled out.
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