1,732 research outputs found

    Corneal blindness: Prevention, treatment and rehabilitation

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    Blindness from corneal disease is a major ophthalmic public health problem. There are three important elements to addressing corneal blindness: prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation

    Enhanced antibiotic distribution strategies and the potential impact of facial cleanliness and environmental improvements for the sustained control of trachoma: a modelling study.

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    BACKGROUND: Despite some success in controlling trachoma with repeated mass drug administration (MDA), some hyperendemic regions are not responding as fast as anticipated. Available data suggests that individuals with higher bacterial infection loads are less likely to resolve infection following a single dose of treatment, and thus remain a source of re-emergent infection following treatment. We assessed the potential impact of a new double-dose antibiotic distribution strategy in addition to enhanced facial cleanliness (F) and environmental improvements (E). METHODS: Using a within-community mathematical model of trachoma transmission we assessed the impact of a new double-dose antibiotic distribution strategy given 2 weeks apart, with and without enhanced F&E. We compared the annual double-dose strategy to single-dose annual MDA treatment in hyper-, meso- and hypoendemic settings, and to biannual MDA at 6-monthly intervals in hyperendemic communities. RESULTS: The findings from our mathematical model suggest that implementing the new double-dose strategy for 5 years or less was predicted to control infection more successfully than annual or 6-monthly treatment. Infection was controlled more readily if treatment was combined with enhanced F&E. The results appeared robust to variation in a number of key epidemiological parameters. To have long-term impact on transmission, enhanced F&E is essential for high transmission settings. CONCLUSION: Our current findings are based on simualtion modelling only, due to lack of epidemilogical data, however they do suggest that the  annual double-dose treatment strategy is encouraging for trachoma control. In high transmission settings, both MDA and enhanced F&E are needed for sustained control

    New DVD supports trachoma surgery training

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    The first part of this article introduces a new comprehensive TT surgery training DVD. The second part presents an extract from the DVD covering using a steam autoclave to sterilise the instruments used in trachoma surgery

    Blinding Trachoma: Systematic Review of Rates and Risk Factors for Progressive Disease.

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    BACKGROUND: Sight loss from trachoma is the end result of a scarring disease process starting in early childhood and characterised by repeated episodes of conjunctival inflammation (active trachoma). Subsequently, the conjunctiva becomes scarred, causing the eyelashes to turn inwards and scratch the cornea (trichiasis), damaging the corneal surface and leading to corneal opacification and visual impairment. It is thought that this process is initiated and driven by repeated infection with Chlamydia trachomatis. We review published longitudinal studies to re-examine the disease process, its progression rates and risk factors. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We searched PubMed for studies presenting incidence and progression data for the different stages of trachoma natural history. We only included studies reporting longitudinal data and identified 11 publications meeting this criterion. The studies were very heterogeneous in design, disease stage, duration, size and location, precluding meta-analysis. Severe conjunctival inflammation was consistently associated with incident and progressive scarring in five studies in which this was examined. One study reported an association between C. trachomatis infection and incident scarring. No studies have yet demonstrated an association between C. trachomatis infection and progressive scarring. Several studies conducted in regions with low prevalence active disease and C. trachomatis infection found evidence of on-going scarring progression. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Overall, there are few longitudinal studies that provide estimates of progression rates and risk factors, reflecting the challenges of conducting such studies. Our understanding of this disease process and the long-term impact of control measures is partial. Intense conjunctival inflammation was consistently associated with scarring, however, direct evidence demonstrating an association between C. trachomatis and progression is limited. This suggests that on-going chlamydial reinfection may not be mandatory for progression of established scarring, indicating that sight threatening trichiasis may continue to evolve in older people in formerly endemic populations, that will require service provision for years after active disease is controlled

    Fibroblasts profiling in scarring trachoma identifies IL-6 as a functional component of a fibroblast-macrophage pro-fibrotic and pro-inflammatory feedback loop.

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    Trachoma is a conjunctiva scarring disease, which is the leading infectious cause of blindness worldwide. Yet, the molecular mechanisms underlying progressive fibrosis in trachoma are unknown. To investigate the contribution of local resident fibroblasts to disease progression, we isolated conjunctival fibroblasts from patients with scarring trachoma and matching control individuals, and compared their gene expression profiles and functional properties in vitro. We show that scarring trachoma fibroblasts substantially differ from control counterparts, displaying pro-fibrotic and pro-inflammatory features matched by an altered gene expression profile. This pro-inflammatory signature was exemplified by increased IL-6 expression and secretion, and a stronger response to macrophage-mediated stimulation of contraction. We further demonstrate that scarring trachoma fibroblasts can promote Akt phosphorylation in macrophages in an IL-6 -dependent manner. Overall this work has uncovered a distinctive molecular fingerprint for scarring trachoma fibroblasts, and identified IL-6- as a potential contributor to the chronic conjunctival fibrosis, mediating reciprocal pro-fibrotic/pro-inflammatory interactions between macrophages and fibroblasts

    The inverse-research law of eye health.

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    Why do people not attend for treatment for trachomatous trichiasis in Ethiopia? A study of barriers to surgery.

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    BACKGROUND: Trachomatous trichiasis (TT) surgery is provided free or subsidised in most trachoma endemic settings. However, only 18-66% of TT patients attend for surgery. This study analyses barriers to attendance among TT patients in Ethiopia, the country with the highest prevalence of TT in the world. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Participants with previously un-operated TT were recruited at 17 surgical outreach campaigns in Amhara Region, Ethiopia. An interview was conducted to ascertain why they had not attended for surgery previously. A trachoma eye examination was performed by an ophthalmologist. 2591 consecutive individuals were interviewed. The most frequently cited barriers to previous attendance for surgery were lack of time (45.3%), financial constraints (42.9%) and lack of an escort (35.5% in females, 19.6% in males). Women were more likely to report a fear of surgery (7.7% vs 3.2%, p<0.001) or be unaware of how to access services (4.5% vs 1.0% p<0.001); men were more frequently asymptomatic (19.6% vs 10.1%, p<0.001). Women were also less likely to have been previously offered TT surgery than men (OR = 0.70, 95%CI 0.53-0.94). CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The major barriers to accessing surgery from the patients' perspective are the direct and indirect costs of surgery. These can to a large extent be reduced or overcome through the provision of free or low cost surgery at the community level. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00522860 and NCT00522912
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