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Postoperative endophthalmitis due to Burkholderia cepacia complex from contaminated anaesthetic eye drops
  1. Prajna Lalitha1,
  2. Manoranjan Das2,
  3. Patwari S Purva3,
  4. Rajaratinam Karpagam1,
  5. Manoharan Geetha1,
  6. Jeganathan Lakshmi Priya1,
  7. Kannan Naresh Babu3
  1. 1Department of Ocular Microbiology, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai, India
  2. 2Department of Cornea and Refractive Surgery, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai, India
  3. 3Department of Retina, Aravind Eye Hospital, Madurai, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Prajna Lalitha, Aravind Eye Hospital, 1 Anna Nagar, Madurai, Tamil Nadu 625 020, India; lalitha{at}


Objective To report the clinical presentation and outcomes of cluster postcataract Burkholderia cepacia complex endophthalmitis, the source of infection and clonal relatedness of the isolates.

Methods This was a retrospective study on 13 patients who developed acute postoperative endophthalmitis, along with an infiltrate at the corneal section, after an uneventful cataract surgery with intraocular lens implantation. Aqueous aspirates, vitreous aspirates and environmental surveillance specimens were sampled. Genotypic diversity was determined by PCR using BOX-PCR for each strain, and the clonal relationship was established between clinical and eye drops isolates.

Results Vitreous samples showed B. cepacia in cultures in all 13 eyes. Among the samples from various surveillance specimens cultured, topical anaesthetic eye drops grew B. cepacia. The isolates from the patients and the eye drops solution revealed matching banding patterns in BOX-PCR. Isolates from the patients and eye drops were susceptible to cefotaxime and piperacillin/tazobactam only. 9 (69%) patients out of 13 had a final visual acuity of 6/60 or better. Among the remaining four patients, three had a vision of perception of light and one had final vision of 1/60.

Conclusions Microbiology culture and BOX-PCR results revealed contamination of local anaesthetic eye drops and the same organism was cultured from a group of patients with acute-onset postoperative endophthalmitis after an uneventful cataract surgery. Outbreaks may occur in the most vigilant settings, and any sterile consumable may be a common link.

  • Microbiology
  • Infection

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