ABSTRACT: Trachoma remains the leading infectious cause of blindness worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends mass antibiotic distributions in its strategy to eliminate blinding trachoma. To determine the most effective antibiotic treatment strategy, it is essential to have a diagnostic test that can correctly measure the true status of ocular Chlamydia trachomatis infection in individuals, particularly after treatment. A newer ribosomal ribonucleic acid (rRNA)-based amplification test was compared with the current DNA-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the detection of C. trachomatis.
An rRNA-based assay and PCR were performed on swab specimens taken from the right upper tarsal conjunctiva of 240 children aged 1 to 5 years living among 16 endemic villages in the Gurage Zone, Ethiopia.
The rRNA-based test detected ocular C. trachomatis infection in 142 (59%) subjects compared with 67 (28%) detected by PCR (McNemar's test, P < 0.0001). The rRNA-based test gave positive results for all subjects who were positive by PCR and detected infection in 75 (31%) additional subjects.
The rRNA-based test appears to have significantly greater sensitivity than PCR for the detection of ocular C. trachomatis infection in children in trachoma-endemic villages. The increased sensitivity of the rRNA-based test may be due to its ability to detect low levels of C. trachomatis infection in individuals, which can occur especially after antibiotic treatment. Data from past studies in which PCR was used to assess the prevalence of infectious trachoma after community-wide antibiotic treatments could have underestimated the true prevalence of infection.
Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 08/2008; 50(1):90-4. · 3.43 Impact Factor
Archives of Ophthalmology 08/2007; 125(7):989-91. · 3.71 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: The World Health Organisation (WHO) hopes to achieve global elimination of trachoma, still the leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide, in part through mass antibiotic treatment. DNA-based nucleic acid amplification tests (NAATs) are currently used to evaluate the success of treatment programmes by measuring the prevalence of C trachomatis infection. Some believe that newer ribosomal RNA (rRNA)-based tests may be much more sensitive since bacterial rRNA is present in amounts up to 10 000 times that of genomic DNA. Others believe that rRNA-based tests are instead less sensitive but more specific, due to the presence of dead or subviable organisms that the test may not detect. This study compares an rRNA-based test to a DNA-based test for the detection of ocular C trachomatis infection in children living in trachoma-endemic villages.
An rRNA-based amplification test and DNA-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were performed on swab specimens taken from the right upper tarsal conjunctiva of 56 children aged 0-10 years living in two villages in Amhara, Ethiopia.
The rRNA-based test detected ocular C trachomatis infection in 35 (63%) subjects compared with 22 (39%) detected by PCR (McNemar's test, p = 0.0002). The rRNA-based test gave positive results for all subjects that were positive by PCR, and also detected infection in 13 (23%) additional subjects.
The rRNA-based test appears to have significantly greater sensitivity than PCR for the detection of ocular chlamydial infection in children in trachoma-endemic villages. Using the rRNA-based test, we may be able to detect infection that was previously missed with PCR. Past studies using DNA-based tests to assess prevalence of infectious trachoma following antibiotic treatment may have underestimated the true prevalence of infection.
British Journal of Ophthalmology 04/2007; 91(3):293-5. · 2.90 Impact Factor