Trachoma is a highly contagious infection of the eyes. Trachoma is caused by an
organism called Chlamydia trachomatis.
What is going on in the body?
Trachoma is a form of an eye infection called
conjunctivitis. The chlamydia organism infects the
conjunctiva and cornea of the eye. It can cause a number of symptoms and
Chlamydia was once thought to be a virus but is now believed to be more
bacterial. It appears to respond to antibiotics. The infection is chronic and
long lasting. Trachoma usually infects only the eyes. But it can also settle in
the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the
What are the causes and risks of the disease?
Trachoma is a chief cause of blindness in many areas of the world. Trachoma is
most common in poor countries that lack clean water and adequate hygiene. It is
sometimes transmitted by using washbasins and towels that others have
used. Flies and gnats that come in contact with the eyes may also spread the
Trachoma can be found along the Mediterranean Sea, in the Middle East, India,
China, Mexico, Central America, Brazil, and Argentina. It also occurs in rural
areas in the United States, especially on reservations for Native Americans.