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BACKGROUND:As the World Health Organization seeks to eliminate trachoma by 2020, countries are beginning to control the transmission of trachomatous inflammation-follicular (TF) and discontinue mass drug administration (MDA) with oral azithromycin. We evaluated the effect of MDA discontinuation on TF1-9 prevalence at the district level. METHODS:We extracted from the available data districts with an impact survey at the end of their program cycle that initiated discontinuation of MDA (TF1-9 prevalence <5%), followed by a surveillance survey conducted to determine whether TF1-9 prevalence remained below the 5% threshold, warranting discontinuation of MDA. Two independent analyses were performed, 1 regression based and 1 simulation based, that assessed the change in TF1-9 from the impact survey to the surveillance survey. RESULTS:Of the 220 districts included, TF1-9 prevalence increased to >5% from impact to surveillance survey in 9% of districts. Regression analysis indicated that impact survey TF1-9 prevalence was a significant predictor of surveillance survey TF1-9 prevalence. The proportion of simulations with >5% TF1-9 prevalence in the surveillance survey was 2%, assuming the survey was conducted 4 years after MDA. CONCLUSION:An increase in TF1-9 prevalence may represent disease resurgence but could also be due to measurement error. Improved diagnostic tests are crucial to elimination of TF1-9 as a public health problem.

Original publication




Journal article


The Journal of infectious diseases

Publication Date



Francis I Proctor Foundation, University of California, San Francisco, California, USA.