Trachoma, also called granular conjunctivitis, Egyptian ophthalmia and blinding trachoma is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis.The infection causes a roughening of the inner surface of the eyelids.The bacterium has an incubation period of 5 to 12 days, after which the affected individual experiences symptoms of conjunctivitis, or irritation similar to "pink eye." Blinding endemic trachoma results from multiple episodes of reinfection that maintains the intense inflammation in the conjunctiva. Without reinfection, the inflammation will gradually subside.
Antibiotic selection: Azithromycin (single oral dose of 20 mg/kg) or topical tetracycline (one percent eye ointment twice a day for six weeks). Azithromycin is preferred because it is used as a single oral dose. Antibiotic treatment reduces the risk of active trachoma in individuals infected with chlamydia trachomatis.Repeated mass treatments with antibiotics can greatly reduce the occurrence of trachoma, a bacterial eye infection that causes blindness in millions of people, NIH-supported research has shown. In addition to paving the way to eliminate the disease, which largely strikes developing countries, studies indicate the therapy also protects communities from other infections, reducing child deaths from pneumonia, diarrhea and malaria by 50 percent.