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No Serological Evidence of Trachoma or Yaws Among Residents of Registered Camps and Makeshift Settlements in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh

Abstract.Successful achievement of global targets for elimination of trachoma as a public health problem and eradication of yaws will require control efforts to reach marginalized populations, including refugees. Testing for serologic evidence of transmission of trachoma and yaws in residents of registered camps and a Makeshift Settlement in Cox’s Bazar District, Bangladesh, was added to a serosurvey for vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) conducted April–May 2018. The survey was primarily designed to estimate remaining immunity gaps for VPDs, including diphtheria, measles, rubella, and polio. Blood specimens from 1- to 14-year-olds from selected households were collected and tested for antibody responses against antigens from Treponema pallidum and Chlamydia trachomatis using a multiplex bead assay to evaluate for serologic evidence of the neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) yaws and trachoma, respectively. The prevalence of antibodies against two C. trachomatis antigens in children ranged from 1.4% to 1.5% for Pgp3 and 2.8% to 7.0% for CT694. The prevalence of antibody responses against both of two treponemal antigens (recombinant protein17 and treponemal membrane protein A) tested was 0% to 0.15% in two camps. The data are suggestive of very low or no transmission of trachoma and yaws, currently or previously, in children resident in these communities. This study illustrates how integrated serologic testing can provide needed data to help NTD programs prioritize limited resources.

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Journal Article
Cooley GM
Feldstein LR
Bennett SD
Estivariz CF
Weil L
Bohara R
Vandenent M
Mainul Hasan A
Akhtar MS
Uzzaman MS
Billah MM
Conklin L
Ehlman DC
Asiedu K
Solomon AW
Alamgir A
Flora MS
Martin DL