Trachoma is the result of infection of the eye with Chlamydia trachomatis. Infection spreads from person to person, and is frequently passed from child to child and from child to mother, especially where there are shortages of water, numerous flies, and crowded living conditions.Trachoma is sub-divided into active (early) and cicatricial (late-stage) disease. Active disease is more commonly found in children and is characterized by a chronic, recurrent follicular conjunctivitis, most prominently of the upper tarsal conjunctiva. Follicles are collections of lymphoid tissue subjacent to the tarsal conjunctival epithelium.
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.Antibiotics to treat infection, particularly mass drug administration of antibiotics, which is donated by the manufacturer to elimination programmes through the International Trachoma Initiative. Surgery to treat the blinding stage of the disease (trachomatous trichiasis).