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Anaerobic bacteria are rarely implicated in corneal infections. In our laboratory, only 3 of a series of 432 bacterial isolates from the cornea were anaerobes (Clostridium perfringens, Peptostreptococcus anaerobius, Propionibacterium acnes). This fraction is not unusual. The value of anaerobic culture for corneal specimens may be open to question, but we recently had a patient in whom the diagnosis would not otherwise have been made.
A 73-year-old man presented to a general practitioner. He had received a corneal laceration when struck by an Australian magpie. He was given chloramphenicol 1% ointment, but experienced increasing pain, redness and visual loss over the next 2 days. The patient was referred to Flinders Medical Centre, South Australia, Australia. A partial thickness, 4-mm-long shelving wound was seen across the visual axis. It was associated with a large grey infiltrate. Corneal oedema, Descemet’s …