Australian Trachoma Surveillance Report 2013

Technical terms and definitions

Page last updated: 2015

Definitions are based on the 2006 CDNA Guidelines for the public health management of trachoma in Australia (reference 1). Three of the four jurisdictions contributing to the data collection implemented their trachoma control programs in 2013 according to these guidelines. The fourth jurisdiction implemented its program according to the 2014 update of the guidelines (reference 2).

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