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

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  • 1 Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia;
  • 2 Epidemic Intelligence Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia;
  • 3 Global Immunization Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia;
  • 4 National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia;
  • 5 World Health Organization, Dhaka, Bangladesh;
  • 6 United Nations Children’s Fund, Dhaka, Bangladesh;
  • 7 World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland;
  • 8 Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh

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.

Author Notes

Address correspondence to Diana Martin, 1600 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30329. E-mail: hzx3@cdc.gov

Disclaimer: The authors alone are responsible for the views expressed in this article and they do not necessarily represent the views, decisions or policies of the institutions with which they are affiliated.

Authors’ addresses: Gretchen M. Cooley and Diana L. Martin, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mails: xxd1@cdc.gov and hzx3@cdc.gov. Leora R. Feldstein, Epidemic Intelligence Service and Global Immunization Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mail: nqw5@cdc.gov. Sarah D. Bennett, Concepcion F. Estivariz, Laura Conklin, and Daniel C. Ehlman, Global Immunization Division, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mails: iyk3@cdc.gov, cge3@cdc.gov, dvj3@cdc.gov, and euh3@cdc.gov. Lauren Weil, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, E-mail: nsi4@cdc.gov. Rajendra Bohara, World Health Organization, Dhaka, Bangladesh, E-mail: boharar@who.int. Maya Vandenent, ASM Mainul Hasan, and Mohammad Saifuddin Akhtar, United Nations Children’s Fund, Dhaka, Bangladesh, E-mails: mvandenent@unicef.org, ashasan@unicef.org, and msakhtar@unicef.org. M. Salim Uzzaman, Mallick Masum Billah, ASM Alamgir, and Meerjady Sabrina Flora, Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh, E-mails msalimuzzaman@hotmail.com, drmasumbillah@yahoo.com, aalamgir@gmail.com, and meerflora@yahoo.com. Kingsley Asiedu and Anthony W. Solomon, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, E-mails: asieduk@who.int and solomona@who.int.

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