Australian Trachoma Surveillance Report 2014

Technical terms and definitions

Page last updated: 30 October 2015

Definitions are based on the Communicable Diseases Network Australia’s 2014 CDNA Guidelines for the public health management of trachoma in Australia (reference 1).

Active trachoma: The presence of chronic inflammation of the conjunctiva caused by infection with Chlamydia trachomatis; includes World Health Organization simplified grading: trachomatous inflammation - follicular (TF) and trachomatous inflammation - intense (TI).

At-risk communities: Communities classified by jurisdictions as being at higher risk of trachoma based on 1) no recent data, but historical evidence of endemicity; 2) data of active trachoma prevalence ≥ 5% in children aged 5-9 years in the last 5 years; or 3) data < 5% active trachoma prevalence but with a recorded prevalence of active trachoma ≥ 5% in the past 5 years.

Clean face: Absence of dirt, dust and crusting (nasal and ocular discharge) on cheeks and forehead.

Community-screening coverage: The number of communities screened for trachoma as a proportion of communities designated by jurisdictions to be at risk of trachoma.

Community-wide treatment: In the NT whole-of-community treatment using the 2014 guidelines is the antibiotic treatment of all people in the community who weigh > 3 kg living in houses with children under15 years of age. In WA and SA whole-of-community treatment guided by the 2006 guidelines is defined as active cases, household contacts and all children in the community aged 6 months to 14 years.

Contacts: Anyone who is living and sleeping in the same house as a child with trachoma. If the child lives or sleeps in multiple households, then all members of each household are regarded as contacts.

Endemic trachoma: Prevalence of active trachoma of 5% or more in children aged 1-9 years or a prevalence of trichiasis of at least 0.1% in the adult population.

Hyperendemic trachoma: Prevalence of active trachoma of 20% or more in children aged 1-9 years.

Prevalence of active trachoma: Proportion of people found in a screening program to have active trachoma.

Screening coverage: Defined as the proportion of 5-9 year old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in a community who were screened for trachoma at the time of community screening.

Trachomatous inflammation - follicular (TF): Presence of five or more follicles in the central part of the upper tarsal conjunctiva, each at least 0.5 mm in diameter, as observed through a loupe.

Trachomatous inflammation - intense (TI): Pronounced inflammatory thickening of the upper tarsal conjunctiva that obscures more than half of the normal deep tarsal vessels.

Trachomatous trichiasis (TT): Evidence of the recent removal of in-turned eyelashes or at least one eyelash rubbing on the eyeball.

Treatment coverage: The proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in a community who weigh > 3kg and live in a house with 1 or more children aged below 15 years and who were treated for trachoma during each episode of community-wide treatment.Top of page