Community seroprevalence survey for yaws and trachoma in the Western Division of Fiji.

09 Dec 2016
Cocks N, Rainima-Qaniuci M, Yalen C, Macleod C, Nakolinivalu A, Migchelsen S, Roberts CH, Butcher R, Kama M, Mabey D, Marks M

Background: Both yaws and trachoma are endemic in several countries in the Pacific. In co-endemic countries there may be potential synergies between both control programmes.

Methods: We undertook a cluster randomised trachoma and yaws seroprevalence survey of children in the Western Division of Fiji. Children were examined for skin lesions consistent with active yaws. A dried blood spot was collected which was tested using the Treponema pallidum particle agglutination (TPPA) test and an ELISA to detect antibodies against Pgp3.

Results: A total of 607 children from 305 households across 23 villages were recruited into the survey. On skin examination, no child had clinical evidence of yaws, and the TPPA assay was negative in all children (0%, 95% CI 0.0–0.6). The seroprevalence of Pgp3 antibodies was 20.9% (95% CI 17.8–24.6%).

Discussion: In this study there was neither clinical nor serological evidence that transmission of yaws was ongoing. The Pgp3 seroprevalence pattern was consistent with either low level transmission of ocular Chlamydia trachomatis or exposure to C. trachomatis in the birth canal which is consistent with a survey conducted in the same region in 2013. These data suggest neither yaws nor ocular chlamydia infection are a significant public health problem in the Western Division of Fiji.