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Diagnosis of bacterial endophthalmitis by broad-range quantitative PCR
  1. Sunao Sugita1,
  2. Norio Shimizu2,
  3. Ken Watanabe2,
  4. Miki Katayama2,
  5. Shintaro Horie1,
  6. Manabu Ogawa1,
  7. Hiroshi Takase1,
  8. Yoshiharu Sugamoto1,
  9. Manabu Mochizuki1
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Science, Medical Research Institute, Tokyo Medical and Dental University Graduate School of Medicine and Dental Sciences, Tokyo, Japan
  2. 2Department of Virology, Medical Research Institute, Tokyo Medical and Dental University Graduate School of Medicine and Dental Sciences, Tokyo, Japan
  1. Correspondence to Dr Manabu Mochizuki, Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Science, Tokyo Medical and Dental University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-5-45 Yushima, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8519, Japan; m.manabu.oph{at}


Aim To measure the bacterial genome in ocular fluids and to analyse the clinical relevance of infectious endophthalmitis.

Methods Nineteen ocular fluid samples (eight aqueous humour and 11 vitreous fluid samples) were collected from 19 patients with suspected bacterial endophthalmitis. Fifty ocular samples from uveitis patients were also collected along with 40 samples from patients without ocular inflammation and used as controls. Bacterial ribosomal DNA (16S rDNA) was measured by a quantitative PCR assay.

Results Bacterial 16S rDNA was detected in patients with clinically suspected bacterial endophthalmitis (18/19, 95%). With the exception of one case, high copy numbers of bacterial DNA were detected (1.7×103–1.7×109 copies/ml) in these patients. There were 10 samples (53%) with positive bacterial cultures while there were nine samples (47%) with positive Gram-staining. Real-time PCR detected bacterial 16S rDNA in three (6%) of the 50 samples from the control uveitis patients. In addition, none of the samples from the control patients without intraocular inflammation were positive.

Conclusions Quantitative broad-range PCR of bacterial 16S rDNA is a useful tool for diagnosing bacterial endophthalmitis.

  • Polymerase chain reaction
  • bacteria
  • intraocular fluids
  • endophthalmitis
  • infection
  • inflammation
  • diagnostic tests/investigation

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the Institutional Ethics Committee of Tokyo Medical and Dental University. The research followed the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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