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Geographic variations in microbial keratitis: an analysis of the peer-reviewed literature
  1. Ameet Shah1,
  2. Arun Sachdev2,
  3. David Coggon3,
  4. Parwez Hossain4
  1. 1Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK
  2. 2St Paul's Eye Unit, Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Liverpool, UK
  3. 3MRC Epidemiology Resource Centre, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
  4. 4Division of Infection, Inflammation & Immunity, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Southampton, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mr Parwez Hossain, Division of Infection, Inflammation & Immunity, Eye Unit, University of Southampton, Southampton General Hospital, Tremona Road, Southampton SO16 6YD, UK; parwez{at}

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Microbial keratitis is a potentially serious corneal infection and a major cause of visual impairment worldwide. A conservative estimate of the number of corneal ulcers occurring annually in the developing world alone is 1.5–2 million.1 Permanent visual dysfunction has been reported in a significant proportion of patients in both developing2 and developed3 countries. Srinivasan et al4 comment that ulceration of the cornea in south India ‘is a blinding disease of epidemic proportions.’

Various micro-organisms can cause microbial keratitis, and predisposing risk factors vary from one geographic region to another. They include pre-existing corneal disease as well as other risk factors such as contact-lens wear, surgical or non-surgical trauma, and ocular surface disease. …

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  • Competing interests None.

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