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Understanding the spatial distribution of trichiasis and its association with trachomatous inflammation—follicular

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

  • Rebecca Mann Flueckiger
  • Jorge Cano
  • Mariamo Abdala
  • Olga Nelson Amiel
  • Gilbert Baayenda
  • Ana Bakhtiari
  • Wilfrid Batcho
  • Kamal Hashim Bennawi
  • Michael Dejene
  • Balgesa Elkheir Elshafie
  • Aba Ange Elvis
  • Missamou Francois
  • Andre Goepogui
  • Khumbo Kalua
  • Biruck Kebede
  • Genet Kiflu
  • Michael P. Masika
  • Marilia Massangaie
  • Caleb Mpyet
  • Jean Ndjemba
  • Jeremiah M. Ngondi
  • Nicholas Olobio
  • Patrick Turyaguma
  • Rebecca Willis
  • Souleymane Yeo
  • Anthony W. Solomon
  • Rachel L. Pullan
Article number364
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/04/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>BMC Infectious Diseases
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish


Whilst previous work has identified clustering of the active trachoma sign “trachomatous inflammation—follicular” (TF), there is limited understanding of the spatial structure of trachomatous trichiasis (TT), the rarer, end-stage, blinding form of disease. Here we use community-level TF prevalence, information on access to water and sanitation, and large-scale environmental and socio-economic indicators to model the spatial variation in community-level TT prevalence in Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC, Guinea, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan and Uganda.

We fit binomial mixed models, with community-level random effects, separately for each country. In countries where spatial correlation was detected through a semi-variogram diagnostic check we then fitted a geostatistical model to the TT prevalence data including TF prevalence as an explanatory variable.

The estimated regression relationship between community-level TF and TT was significant in eight countries. We estimate that a 10% increase in community-level TF prevalence leads to an increase in the odds for TT ranging from 20 to 86% when accounting for additional covariates.

We find evidence of an association between TF and TT in some parts of Africa. However, our results also suggest the presence of additional, country-specific, spatial risk factors which modulate the variation in TT risk.