Trachoma is a research focus of the Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases (COR-NTD). According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
Trachoma is the world’s leading cause of preventable blindness of infectious origin. Caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis, trachoma is easily spread through direct personal contact, shared towels and cloths, and flies that have come in contact with the eyes or nose of an infected person. If left untreated, repeated trachoma infections can cause severe scarring of the inside of the eyelid and can cause the eyelashes to scratch the cornea (trichiasis). In addition to causing pain, trichiasis permanently damages the cornea and can lead to irreversible blindness. Trachoma, which spreads in areas that lack adequate access to water and sanitation, affects the most marginalized communities in the world. Globally, almost 8 million people are visually impaired by trachoma; 500 million are at risk of blindness from the disease throughout 57 endemic countries.