The prevalence of trachoma in preschool and school children in Olimpia, Guaraci and Cajobi, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Trop Med Parasitol. 1992 Jun;43(2):121-3.


A school-based prevalence survey of trachoma was conducted in three rural municipalities in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 1989. A total of 950 children aged 4-11 years were examined. The prevalence of inflammatory trachoma was found to be 6.3%, peaking at 24.1% in the 4 year-old age group. The prevalence of trachomatous scarring was 2.7% and was more prevalent in older children. Risk factors included household sleeping arrangements and nasal discharge.

PIP: In December 1989, researchers gathered data on 950 4-11 year old children attending preschool or primary schools in the rural municipalities of Olimpia, Guaraci, and Cajobi in northwestern Sao Paulo State, Brazil to measure prevalence of active trachoma and to identify its risk factors. Overall prevalence of trachoma was 8.6%. Physicians treated all trachoma cases with topical 1% tetracycline twice daily for 6 weeks and examined them later at a local health care center. Prevalence of inflammatory trachoma stood at 6.3%. This was similar to its prevalence in an Olimpia's neighboring town called Bebedouro. Prevalence of trachomatous scarring was 2.7%. Thus the northwestern part of Sao Paulo state was an important focus of endemic trachoma infection. Inflammatory trachoma was highest among the 4 year olds (24.1%) and fell to 0 by age 11. On the other hand, trachomatous scarring was relatively rare in 4-5 year olds then increased to 7% in 10-11 year old children. In fact, the mean age for inflammatory trachoma was 6.6 years and for trachomatous scarring 8.5 years. Perhaps the recently implemented trachoma control activities in Olimpia explained the lowest prevalence of inflammatory trachoma (5.4%). Guaraci experienced the highest prevalence rate (9.6%), but did not have any cases of trachomatous scarring. Children who slept with others were significantly more likely to have inflammatory trachoma than were those who slept alone (p.005). Sleeping pattern was the only personal hygiene variable significantly associated with inflammatory trachoma. Not even face washing was significantly associated with it. The only clinical symptom significantly associated with inflammatory trachoma was nasal discharge (p.001). A considerable community-based epidemiological survey would qualify these results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Rural Population
  • Trachoma / epidemiology*