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.Blindness from trachoma is due to recurrent episodes of active infection. The initial infection is confined to the conjunctival epithelium and triggers an immune response. Repeat infections with subsequent inflammatory responses results in tissue destruction, scarring, cicatricial entropion with trichiasis, and corneal opacification from lashes rubbing against the cornea.
In the United States about 8,458 cases of Trachoma are reported in humans each year. Almost 16% of the United States population is infected with Trachoma an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis.A number of different antibiotics have anti-chlamydial activity and have been used for treatment of trachoma. Currently, the most commonly used options are tetracycline eye ointment applied twice a day for 6 weeks or a single oral dose of azithromycin.