The diagnosis of trachoma can be easily established in the typical case, by using the specific clinical criteria well summarized recently by Thygeson1 and by finding Halberstaedter-Prowazek inclusion bodies in a smear of epithelial scrapings. There are many clinically doubtful cases, however, in which the diagnosis is difficult to make. This is particularly true when the question of a recurrence arises in a case of healed trachoma with residual scarring. It has also been found that in surveys made to reveal the true incidence of trachoma in a population, or to study its treatment, the presence of nontrachomatous chronic follicular conjunctivitis can confuse the picture, particularly in the diagnosis of very early trachoma.2 It is clear that improved methods are needed for detecting trachoma infection. A good laboratory method would be especially useful in those trachomatous populations that do not have the services of trained ophthalmologists.
MAGRUDER GB, GORDON FB, QUAN AL, DRESSLER HR. Accidental Human Trachoma with Rapid Diagnosis by a Cell Culture Technique. Arch Ophthalmol. 1963;69(3):300-303. doi:10.1001/archopht.1963.00960040306006