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Bacterial keratitis: a prospective clinical and microbiological study


AIM To define the clinical and microbiological profile of bacterial keratitis at the Jules Gonin Eye Hospital and to test the in vitro bacterial resistance.

METHODS Patients presenting with bacterial keratitis were prospectively followed; clinical features (age, risk factors, visual acuity) and response to therapy were analysed. Bacteriological profile was determined and the sensitivity/resistance of isolated strains were tested towards 12 ocular antibiotics (NCCLS disc diffusion test).

RESULTS 85 consecutive patients (mean age 44.3 (SD 20.7) years) were prospectively enrolled from 1 March 1997 to 30 November 1998. The following risk factors were identified: contact lens wear, 36%; blepharitis, 21%; trauma, 20%; xerophthalmia, 15%; keratopathies, 8%; and eyelid abnormalities, 6%. The most commonly isolated bacteria wereStaphylococcus epidermidis, 40%;Staphylococcus aureus, 22%;Streptococcus pneumoniae, 8%; othersStreptococcus species, 5%;Pseudomonas, 9%;Moraxella andSerratia marcescens, 5% each;Bacillus,Corynebacterium, Alcaligenes xyloxidans, Morganella morganii, andHaemophilus influenza, 1% each. 1–15% of strains were resistant to fluoroquinolones, 13–22% to aminoglycosides, 37% to cefazolin, 18% to chloramphenicol, 54% to polymyxin B, 51% to fusidic acid, and 45% to bacitracin. Five of the 85 patients (5.8%) had a poor clinical outcome with a visual loss of one or more lines of visual acuity.

CONCLUSION Fluoroquinolones appear to be the therapy of choice for bacterial keratitis, but, based upon these in vitro studies, some strains may be resistant.

  • bacterial keratitis
  • microbiology
  • antibiotics
  • fluoroquinolones

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