Single dose of azithromycin prevents recurrence of inturned eyelashes
A Johns Hopkins Medicine study finds that a single dose of the oral antibiotic azithromycin taken after trichiasis eye surgery can reduce the frequency with which eyelashes turn back in and abrade the eye. The oral antibiotic treatment is more effective than multiple days of treatment with the topical antibiotic ointment Tetracycline, the current method of treatment after trichiasis surgery.
Trichiasis is the leading infectious cause of blindness worldwide. It is a condition in which the eyelid turns inward and the eyelashes rub against the eye, causing corneal scarring, that can lead to blindness. It results from years of repeated episodes of trachoma, an ocular bacterial infection that is very common in rural areas of developing countries.
The bacteria that cause trachoma are suspected to be spread by contact with hands or clothing of infected individuals. Flies may also transfer the infection from one person to another. Because trachoma is transmitted through close personal contact, it tends to occur in clusters, often infecting entire families and a large majority of people in a given community. The disease usually remains hidden in rural areas of developing countries where people live in overcrowded conditions with limited access to water and health care.
Trichiasis can be corrected by appropriate lid surgery, which returns the inturned eyelashes to their normal position. However, even under the best of circumstances the eyelashes may turn back in (between 16 percent and 50 percent within a few years after surgery). Thats why this new Johns Hopkins research is so valuable, says lead researcher Sheila West, Ph.D., of the Dana Center for Preventative Ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins Medicine. In the current study, less than 10 percent of people had their eyelid turn in again within one year after surgery.
In the study, published in the March 2006 issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology, the research team found that a single dose of the antibiotic azithromycin reduces the risk of trichiasis recurring for up to one year after surgery.
The researchers compared the use of one oral dose of azithromycin to six weeks of twice daily topical tetracycline treatment. Researchers found the azithromycin group had one-third fewer recurrences of inturned lashes than the tetracycline group.
"We are delighted with the results of this study. Trichiasis plagues the poorest of the poor, and primarily affects the most underprivileged members of the community, the women. The results of this study have major implications for improving outcomes of trichiasis surgery. The use of a single dose of azithromycin is a relatively straightforward and simple procedure to implement, and in many countries the drug is provided through a free donation program." says West. "Not only have we shown that azithromycin can reduce recurrence, but we have also demonstrated that in the hands of well-trained individuals trichiasis recurrence can be below 10 percent. These results set a new standard for trichiasis surgery and are applicable throughout the world."
John M. Lazarou | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
New technique promises tunable laser devices
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...