Increased incidence of endophthalmitis after vitrectomy relative to face mask wearing during COVID-19 pandemic
Compose Response

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Author Information
First or given name, e.g. 'Peter'.
Your last, or family, name, e.g. 'MacMoody'.
Your email address, e.g.
Your role and/or occupation, e.g. 'Orthopedic Surgeon'.
Your organization or institution (if applicable), e.g. 'Royal Free Hospital'.
Statement of Competing Interests


  • A rapid response is a moderated but not peer reviewed online response to a published article in a BMJ journal; it will not receive a DOI and will not be indexed unless it is also republished as a Letter, Correspondence or as other content. Find out more about rapid responses.
  • We intend to post all responses which are approved by the Editor, within 14 days (BMJ Journals) or 24 hours (The BMJ), however timeframes cannot be guaranteed. Responses must comply with our requirements and should contribute substantially to the topic, but it is at our absolute discretion whether we publish a response, and we reserve the right to edit or remove responses before and after publication and also republish some or all in other BMJ publications, including third party local editions in other countries and languages
  • Our requirements are stated in our rapid response terms and conditions and must be read. These include ensuring that: i) you do not include any illustrative content including tables and graphs, ii) you do not include any information that includes specifics about any patients,iii) you do not include any original data, unless it has already been published in a peer reviewed journal and you have included a reference, iv) your response is lawful, not defamatory, original and accurate, v) you declare any competing interests, vi) you understand that your name and other personal details set out in our rapid response terms and conditions will be published with any responses we publish and vii) you understand that once a response is published, we may continue to publish your response and/or edit or remove it in the future.
  • By submitting this rapid response you are agreeing to our terms and conditions for rapid responses and understand that your personal data will be processed in accordance with those terms and our privacy notice.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Vertical Tabs

Other responses

Jump to comment:

  • Published on:
    Response to Dr Velez-Montoya and colleagues' comment

    To the Editor:

    We thank Dr Velez-Montoya and colleagues for their interest in our study.1 We reported that there was an increase in the prevalence of endophthalmitis after vitrectomy in Japan and found that it was probably related to the face masks during the COVID period.2 Although the cause for the increase definitively determined, we need to report these findings to the ophthalmologic community to alert them of this possibility.

    First, we address the indicated point, “the definition of postoperative endophthalmitis was not rigorous”. We used the definition of the Endophthalmitis Vitrectomy Study group.3 Although this definition is relatively old, many subsequent studies have used it, and it has the advantage that our findings could be compared to these other studies with the same definition.

    They also stated that the latest studies have shown that the sclerotomies after a pars plana vitrectomy seal within 15 days after the surgery even after a suture-less closure. Thus, the site of the incision was unlikely the entry port for the infectious micro-organisms after that time. This is generally true but the cause of infectious endophthalmitis after vitrectomy is complex. Because the cause of infectious endophthalmitis is varied, it is not surprising that anything can happen with postoperative endophthalmitis. For example, it is possible for a patient to inadvertently touch the eye in the early postoperative period and cause the incision to open. Once...

    Show More
    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.
  • Published on:
    Increased incidence of endophthalmitis after vitrectomy relative to face mask wearing during COVID-19 pandemic
    • Raul Velez-Montoya, Retina Surgeon Retina Division. Asociación para Evitar le Ceguera en México IAP. México City. 04030 México
    • Other Contributors:
      • Jorge I. Soberanes-Perez, Retina Fellow
      • Kingston Ureña-Wong, Retina Fellow
      • Manuela Franco-Sanchez, Retina Fellow
      • Jans Fromow-Guerra, Retina Surgeon

    Dear Editor.

    We read with interest the manuscript published by Sakamoto et al, on behalf of the Japanese Retina and Vitreous Society, titled: Increased incidence of endophthalmitis after vitrectomy relative to face mask-wearing during COVID-19 pandemic”.[1] In this manuscript, the authors discuss their results after comparing the total prevalence of infectious endophthalmitis among patients that underwent ocular surgery, before and after the peak of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic in Japan.[1] The authors should be commended due to the level of complexity and significant effort needed to coordinate several centers simultaneously, as well as the detailed description provided in the manuscript regarding the clinical presentation, microbiological results, and outcomes of all cases. Interestingly and despite the low rate of positive vitreous cultures, the authors were able to isolate oral bacteria among several of the cases that developed endophthalmitis during the pandemic, including one caused by Staphylococcus lugdunensis; a pathogen typically hard to eliminate with mechanical washing bacteria, because it accumulates behind the auricle.[1] With all this evidence, the authors provided a compelling argument regarding the inappropriate wearing of face masks could increase the risk of postoperative endophthalmitis. Nevertheless, we believe that there are a few important considerations that the authors may need to address before making such an assumption.
    As a start, we ca...

    Show More
    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.