John P. Whitcher

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The common wisdom is that a trachoma program cannot eliminate ocular chlamydia from a community, just reduce infection to a level where blindness would be minimal. We describe the success of multiple mass antibiotic treatments, demonstrating that complete elimination of infection may be an attainable goal in an area with modest disease.
BACKGROUND The World Health Organization recommends periodic mass antibiotic distributions to reduce the ocular strains of chlamydia that cause trachoma, the world's leading cause of infectious blindness. Their stated goal is to control infection, not to completely eliminate it. A single mass distribution can dramatically reduce the prevalence of infection.(More)
BACKGROUND Antibiotics are a major tool in the WHO's trachoma control program. Even a single mass distribution reduces the prevalence of the ocular chlamydia that causes trachoma. Unfortunately, infection returns after a single treatment, at least in severely affected areas. Here, we test whether additional scheduled treatments further reduce infection, and(More)
BACKGROUND Trachoma-control programmes distribute oral azithromycin to treat the ocular strains of chlamydia that cause the disease and to control infection. Theoretically, elimination of infection is feasible if untreated individuals receive an indirect protective effect from living in repeatedly treated communities, which is similar to herd protection in(More)
PURPOSE Trachoma remains the leading infectious cause of blindness worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends mass antibiotic distributions in its strategy to eliminate blinding trachoma. To determine the most effective antibiotic treatment strategy, it is essential to have a diagnostic test that can correctly measure the true status of(More)
PURPOSE The purpose of this study was to determine whether clinical signs of infectious keratitis can be used to identify the causative organism. METHODS Eighty photographs of eyes with culture-proven bacterial keratitis or smear-proven fungal keratitis were randomly selected from 2 clinical trials. Fifteen cornea specialists from the F. I. Proctor(More)
PURPOSE Conjunctival infection with non-chlamydial bacteria may play an important role in the progression of trachoma, especially with regard to the development of corneal opacity and blindness. To further characterize the microbiological profile of bacterial conjunctival infections in cicatricial trachoma, a conjunctival swabbing of adults in rural(More)
Trachoma is disappearing in many parts of the world, even in the absence of specific control programs. Following mass antimicrobial drug treatments for trachoma in western Nepal, the prevalence of trachoma declined far more rapidly than could be attributed to the control program alone. Pharmacy surveys in the same region found that children received more(More)
A 27-year-old man who was a heroin addict had light flashes in front of the right eye and a hemicentral scotoma immediately after intravenous cocaine. The initial ophthalmoscopic appearance was of a white foreign body lying over the papillomacular bundle of the retina in the right eye. This ophthalmoscopic finding was consistent with intraocular talc,(More)
Infections of the cornea can lead to corneal opacity and blindness if not identified quickly and managed appropriately. The terms 'microbial keratitis', 'infective keratitis' and 'suppurative keratitis' are all used to describe suppurative infections of the cornea. In this issue we use the term microbial keratitis. These infections are characterised by the(More)