Treating village newcomers and travelers for trachoma: Results from ASANTE cluster randomized trial

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Abstract

Trial design Trachoma is targeted for global elimination. Infection rates with Chlamydia trachomatis are higher in new arrivals to a community and in travelers who leave for extended periods, suggesting they are sources of re-infection. This community-randomized, clinical trial was designed to determine if a surveillance program that targeted newcomers and travelers, identified weekly, would result in more communities achieving levels of infection of 1%. Methods 52 communities were randomly allocated 1:1 to the control (annual MDA alone if warranted) or intervention arm (annual MDA if warranted, plus a surveillance program to identify and treat newcomers and travelers). In each community, surveys were completed every six months on a random sample of 100 children ages 1±9 years for trachoma and infection. The primary outcome was the proportion of communities in the intervention arm, compared to the control arm, which had a prevalence of infection at 1% by 24 months. Registered: clinicaltrials. gov(NCT01767506). Results Intervention communities experienced an average of 110 surveillance events per month. At 24 months, 7 (27%) of 26 intervention communities achieved a prevalence of infection 1% compared to 4 (15%) of the 26 control communities (odds ratio = 2-6, 95%CI = 0-56±11-9). At 24 months, the average infection prevalence in the intervention communities was 4-8, compared to 6-9 in the control communities (p = -06). Conclusion Despite surveillance programs for community newcomers and travelers, the proportion of intervention communities with a level of infection 1% was lower than expected and not significantly different from control communities.

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West, S. K., Munoz, B., Mkocha, H., Dize, L., Gaydos, C. A., Swenor, B., … Quinn, T. C. (2017). Treating village newcomers and travelers for trachoma: Results from ASANTE cluster randomized trial. PLoS ONE, 12(6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0178595

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