Author Affiliations: Clinical Research Unit, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, England.
Trachoma, a chronic keratoconjunctivitis caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis, is the leading infectious cause of blindness in the world. Until the 20th century it was endemic in Europe and North America, and eye hospitals established in the 19th century were founded to treat trachoma. As living standards improved,
trachoma disappeared from the developed world, but it remains endemic in poor rural communities in some 55 countries, most of them in Africa and Asia. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates suggest that more than 100 million individuals have the disease, of whom 7.6 million have potentially blinding sequelae, and 1.3 million are blind.1,2
Mabey D, Solomon AW. Mass Antibiotic Administration for Eradication of Ocular Chlamydia trachomatis. JAMA. 2008;299(7):819–821. doi:10.1001/jama.299.7.819