Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Sexually Transmitted Disease That Causes Blindness Evades Detection

Academic journal article Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness

Sexually Transmitted Disease That Causes Blindness Evades Detection

Article excerpt

Chlamydia trachomatis--the most common sexually transmitted disease in the world and the leading cause of infectious blindness--is causing concern among scientists, since a recent discovery revealed that undetectable strains of chlamydia are evolving faster than previously believed. Chlamydia is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis, the same bacterium that causes trachoma, a type of infectious blindness that occurs primarily in rural settings in developing countries, but can appear in crowded cities in impoverished neighborhoods where poor hygiene is present. Often spread through casual contact, the most common route of infection of the bacterium is through sexual intercourse. In 2010, over a million chlamydial infections were reported in the United States to the Centers for Disease Control. Because most people with chlamydia are not aware of their infection, it is estimated that well over two million infections actually occur annually in the United States. This high rate of infections is particularly alarming given the recent discoveries of new strains of the chlamydia bacterium by researchers from a collaboration that included the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, based near Cambridge, England. …

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