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Title: Investigation of the aetiology of a trachoma-like condition in a rural population in Guangxi province, PRC
Authors: Cho, P 
Boost, MV
Ng, W
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: Elsevier
Source: Clinical microbiology and infection, 2005, v. 11, suppl. 2, P1189, p. 375 (Abstracts) How to cite?
Journal: Clinical microbiology and infection 
Abstract: Objectives: To determine the presence of trachoma in primary school children of the Zhuang and Yiao ethnic minority groups in Du¡an county in Guangxi, China.
Method: Primary school children were examined using a slit lamp and several were noted to display follicular/papillary conjunctivitis suggestive of trachoma. To confirm the etiology of the condition, children were examined on a follow-up visit. For each subject, after examination with the slit lamp, the upper lid was everted after the application of a topical anesthetic (Novesin), and a dacron swab was passed along the upper tarsal lengthwise four times. Strict aseptic precautions were employed to prevent cross-contamination during sample collection. Swabs were placed in DNA-free tubes, transported to Hong Kong, and tested using the Roche Amplicor kits for detection of Chlamydia trachomatis following the manufacturer¡s instructions. Twenty children displayed significant conjunctival signs and photographs of the everted upper lids were taken to determine if these visual signs correlated with presence of trachoma as confirmed by PCR.
Results: Sixty-five of 120 primary school students were willing to be tested, and 29% of these were positive for trachoma by PCR. Comparison of photographs and PCR result indicated that not all children who showed signs of conjunctivitis were positive for trachoma. In addition, some children whose eyelids displayed milder form for conjunctivitis were positive by PCR. No obvious corneal involvement was observed for these children.
Conclusions: It was confirmed that hyper-epidemic levels of trachoma can be found among ethnic minority children in Du¡an county. This may be related to the poor hygiene standards and the scarcity of water in this limestone region. PCR was not positive for all children showing signs of follicular/papillary conjunctivitis, which may indicate that some cases were in a dormant stage. It is also possible that failure to detect the organism was due to sampling error or delay in PCR analysis. Nevertheless, the high level of infection is a cause for concern as trachoma remains one of the leading causes of blindness, and further investigation and treatment are warranted.
Description: 15th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID), Copenhagen, Denmark, 2-5 April 2005
ISSN: 1198-743X
EISSN: 1469-0691
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