Pubmed and Medline were searched for articles referring to Pseudomonas keratitis between the years 2007 and 2012 to obtain an overview of the current state of this disease. Keyword searches used the terms “Pseudomonas” + “Keratitis” limit to “2007–2012”, and [“Ulcerative” or “Microbial”] + “Keratitis” + “Contact lenses” limit to “2007–2012”. These articles were then reviewed for information on the percentage of microbial keratitis cases associated with contact lens wear, the frequency of Pseudomonas sp. as a causative agent of microbial keratitis around the world, the most common therapies to treat Pseudomonas keratitis, and the sensitivity of isolates of Pseudomonas to commonly prescribed antibiotics. The percentage of microbial keratitis associated with contact lens wear ranged from 0% in a study from Nepal to 54.5% from Japan. These differences may be due in part to different frequencies of contact lens wear. The frequency of Pseudomonas sp. as a causative agent of keratitis ranged from 1% in Japan to over 50% in studies from India, Malaysia, and Thailand. The most commonly reported agents used to treat Pseudomonas keratitis were either aminoglycoside (usually gentamicin) fortified with a cephalosporin, or monotherapy with a fluoroquinolone (usually ciprofloxacin). In most geographical areas, most strains of Pseudomonas sp. (≥95%) were sensitive to ciprofloxacin, but reports from India, Nigeria, and Thailand reported sensitivity to this antibiotic and similar fluoroquinolones of between 76% and 90%.
Pseudomonas; keratitis; contact lens
AIMS—To report demographic, microbiological, therapeutic, anatomical, and visual results of corneal ulceration in the elderly patients seen at a tertiary eye care centre in south India.
METHODS—102 consecutive cases of microbial keratitis in patients 65 years and older were studied. Inclusion criteria were: (i) presence of corneal stromal infiltrate upon slit lamp examination; and (ii) microbiological evaluation of corneal scrapings for suspected microbial keratitis.
RESULTS—The principal predisposing factors identified in this study were ocular disease (38.2%), previous ocular surgery in the same eye (29.4%), trauma (17.6%), and severe systemic disease (16.7%). Contact lens wear was associated with only two cases (2.0%). 99 organisms were isolated in cultures of corneal scrapings from 74 (72.5%) of the 102 cases. Staphylococcus epidermidis (31.1%), filamentous fungi (25.7%), and Streptococcus pneumoniae (13.5%) were the most common isolates. 12 eyes (11.8%) required surgery, 15 (14.7%) eventually required evisceration, and nine (9.6%) of the 94 followed patients achieved an unaided vision of 20/60 or better at last follow up.
CONCLUSIONS—This work represents the largest recent single centre study on (non-viral) microbial keratitis in the elderly, its management, and outcomes of therapy. While the predisposing factors differ from those of general population, the spectrum of microbes responsible for keratitis in the elderly appears to reflect the local microbial flora rather than a predilection for elderly patients. Delay in diagnosis and systemic conditions associated with advancing age probably contribute to poorer outcome from therapeutic measures.
Background: A multicentre study was carried out in Ghana and southern India to determine the aetiology of suppurative keratitis in two regions located at similar tropical latitudes. Studies of fungal keratitis from the literature were reviewed.
Methods: Patients presenting at rural and urban eye units with suspected microbial keratitis were recruited to the study. Corneal ulceration was defined as loss of corneal epithelium with clinical evidence of infection with or without hypopyon. Microscopy and culture were performed on all corneal specimens obtained.
Results: 1090 patients were recruited with suspected microbial keratitis between June 1999 and May 2001. Overall the principal causative micro-organisms in both regions were filamentous fungi (42%): Fusarium species and Aspergillus species were the commonest fungal isolates. Pseudomonas species were most frequently isolated from cases of bacterial keratitis in Ghana but in India the commonest bacterial isolates were streptococci.
Conclusion: Infections of the cornea due to filamentous fungi are a frequent cause of corneal damage in developing countries in the tropics and are difficult to treat. Microscopy is an essential tool in the diagnosis of these infections. A knowledge of the “local” aetiology within a region is of value in the management of suppurative keratitis in the event that microscopy cannot be performed.
keratitis; Fusarium; Aspergillus
The objective of this study was to study the epidemiological characteristics and the microbiological profile of patients suspected with microbial keratitis in Gujarat.
Corneal scraping was collected from 200 consecutive cases of suspected microbial keratitis and was subjected to direct examination and culture.
Of the 200 ulcers 55% were culture positive, 26.5% were bacterial ulcers of which 47% were due to Staphylococcus spp. Pure fungal growth was seen in 22% while 6% were mixed ulcers. Fusarium spp. (30%) was the most common fungus followed by Aspergillus spp. (21%). Only one case of Acanthamoeba keratitis was encountered. Patients were mainly from rural areas (61.5%) with male preponderance (61.5%). Corneal injury was seen in 78.5% cases of which 53% had injury with vegetative matter. Prior treatment was seen in 58% of which 5% had been treated by village healers. Nineteen patients (9.5%) also used some kind of traditional topical treatment. Increased incidence was seen from August to December. Five case of fugal ulcers lead to perforation of which three were due to Fusarium spp. whereas perforation was seen in only two cases of bacterial ulcers due to Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
Staphylococcus and Fusarium spp. were the most common etiological agents in our region. Predominant outdoor agricultural activity is the principal causative factor for corneal injury. Corneal ulcers complicated due to treatment by village healers are another important concern. The information regarding regional etiology will help empirical management as many eye clinics do not have microbiological facilities.
Microbial; keratitis; village healer; eyes; epidemiology; India
Study of patients attending tertiary care ophthalmology institute at Ahmedabad.
To study the microbiological etiology and epidemiological factors associated with suppurative keratitis.
Settings and Design:
A total of 150 corneal scrapings were evaluated from patients presenting with corneal ulcers at a tertiary ophthalmology center, Ahmedabad from July 2007 to June 2008.
Materials and Methods:
Scrapings were subjected to Gram stain, potassium hydroxide preparation and culture for bacterial and fungal pathogens. Socio-demographic data and risk factors were recorded.
Ninety percent (135/150) people with corneal ulcers had trauma as predisposing factor for keratitis. Trauma due to wooden objects was the leading cause (46/135) followed by vegetable matter and stone injury (23/135). Microbial etiology was established in 59.3% (89/150) of scrapings. Out of 89 positive isolates, 65.1% (58/89) were bacterial while 34.9% (31/89) were fungal. Among the bacterial isolates, 60.3% (35/58) were Gram-positive cocci while 39.7% (23/58) were Gram-negative bacilli. The most common bacterial isolate was Staphylococus aureus (32.7%, 19/58) followed by coagulase-negative Staphylococci (25.8%, 15/58) and Pseudomonas (18.9%, 11/58). Among the 31 fungal pathogens, Aspergillus species was the most common (35.4%11/31), followed by Fusarium species (22.5%, 7/31).
Trauma with wooden material is the most common predisposing factor for suppurative keratitis. Males were more affected than females. Bacterial ulcers were more common than fungal in areas in and around Ahmedabad. Staphylococcus aureus and Aspergillus were the commonest bacterial and fungal isolates respectively. Geographical variation persists in microbial etiology of suppurative keratitis.
Microbial etiology; mucopurulent keratitis; suppurative keratitis
AIMS/BACKGROUND—The purpose of this study was apply the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to develop a sensitive, specific, and rapid test to diagnose Fusarium keratitis. Fusarium is the most common cause of fungal corneal infection in some parts of the world. It is often difficult to establish that a keratitis is due to fungal infection.
METHODS—Fusarium solani keratitis was induced in three eyes of three rabbits by injection of a suspension of the fungus into the anterior corneal stroma. In one rabbit the contralateral eye served as a control. From four to 28 days after inoculation, the corneas were scraped for culture, then scraped and swabbed for PCR analysis. The PCR was performed with primers directed against a portion of the Fusarium cutinase gene, and the presence or absence of this amplified target sequence was determined by agarose gel.
RESULTS—The amplified DNA sequence was detected in 25 of 28 samples from the corneas infected with Fusarium, for a sensitivity of 89%. Only three of the 14 samples from these eyes with Fusarium keratitis were positive by culture, for a sensitivity of 21%. Seven of eight control samples were negative by the PCR based test, for a specificity of 88%.
CONCLUSION—This PCR based test holds promise of being an effective method of diagnosing Fusarium keratitis as well as Fusarium infections at other sites.
Keywords: keratitis; Fusarium; ulcer; cornea; polymerase chain reaction
Identification of Acanthamoeba cysts and trophozoites in ocular tissues requires considerable expertise and is often time-consuming. An 18S rRNA gene-based PCR test, highly specific for the genus Acanthamoeba, has recently been reported in the molecular diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis. This PCR assay was compared with conventional microbiological tests for the diagnosis of Acanthamoeba keratitis. In a pilot study, the PCR conditions with modifications were first tested on corneal scrapings from patients with culture-proven non-contact lens-related Acanthamoeba, bacterial, and fungal keratitis. This was followed by testing of corneal scrapings from 53 consecutive cases of microbial keratitis to determine sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values of the assay. All corneal scrapings from patients with proven Acanthamoeba keratitis showed a 463-bp amplicon, while no amplicon was obtained from patients with bacterial or fungal keratitis. Some of these amplified products were sequenced and compared with EMBL database reference sequences to validate these to be of Acanthamoeba origin. Out of 53 consecutive cases of microbial keratitis included for evaluating the PCR, 10 (18.9%) cases were diagnosed as Acanthamoeba keratitis on the basis of combined results of culture, smear, and PCR of corneal scrapings. Based on culture results as the “gold standard,” the sensitivity of PCR was the same as that of the smear (87.5%); however, the specificity and the positive and negative predictive values of PCR were marginally higher than the smear examination (97.8 versus 95.6%, 87.5 versus 77.8%, and 97.8 versus 97.7%) although the difference was not significant. This study confirms the efficacy of the PCR assay and is the first study to evaluate a PCR-based assay against conventional methods of diagnosis in a clinical setting.
Corneal diseases are one of the major causes of visual loss and blindness, second only to cataract. Amongst corneal diseases, microbial keratitis is a major blinding disease. In some countries, fungal keratitis accounts for almost 50% of patients with culture-proven microbial keratitis.
This study was conducted to determine the epidemiological characteristics of fungal keratitis in an urban population of West Bengal and identify the specific pathogenic organisms.
The charts of patients with microbial keratitis who attended the Cornea Services of Priyamvada Birla Aravind Eye Hospital from January to December 2008 were retrospectively reviewed. Records of patients with 10% KOH mount and culture positive fungal keratitis were analyzed for epidemiological features, laboratory findings and treatment outcomes.
Of the 289 patients of microbial keratitis included in the study, 110 patients (38.06%) were diagnosed with fungal keratitis (10% KOH mount positive). Of the 110 patients, 74 (67.27%) fitted the study inclusion criteria (10% KOH mount and culture positive). Forty five of 74 patients (60.81%) in the study group were in the older age group (>50 years). Ocular trauma in 35 cases (47.29%) was identified as a high risk factor and vegetative injuries in 17 cases (22.97%) were identified as a significant cause for fungal keratitis. Maximum organism source was from corneal scrapings in 41 cases (55%). The predominant fungal species isolated was Aspergillus sp (55.40%) followed by Candida albicans 14 cases (18.91%) and Fusarium sp. in 8 cases (10.81%). Agricultural activity related ocular trauma was the principal cause of mycotic keratitis and males were more commonly affected. Thirty of 74 cases (40.55%) of the culture positive patients healed with corneal scar formation with medical treatment whereas 44 cases (59.45%) required therapeutic keratoplasty.
Fungal keratitis is an important cause of microbial keratitis with injury to the cornea being a leading predisposing factor. Although Aspergillus sp. was implicated in most of the patients in our study population, Candida sp. were found in higher numbers than previously reported. Keratitis caused by filamentous fungi responds adequately to medical management. Therapeutic keratoplasty continues to remain an important treatment modality in infections with Candida sp. Early diagnosis with prompt identification of the pathogenic organism is mandatory to initiate appropriate therapy and thereby reduce morbidity.
Candida sp.; fungal keratitis; therapeutic keratoplasty
To evaluate the ability of ophthalmologists to predict the laboratory results of presumed microbial keratitis and to explore which findings might influence diagnostic prognostication.
Prospective cross-sectional study.
Fifteen ophthalmologists completed study forms at the initial presentation of patients with presumed microbial keratitis. After predicting the category of microbial recovery, clinicians submitted corneal scrapings for masked laboratory processing. The relative effects of ocular inflammatory signs on correct microbial diagnosis were explored with Poisson regression.
Clinical examiners correctly predicted the presence or absence of microbial recovery in 79 (76%) of 104 ulcerative keratitis and successfully distinguished among bacterial, fungal, and amoebic keratitis for 54 (73%) of 74 culture-positive infections, although only 31 (42%) were properly subcategorized. The positive predictive value of clinical diagnosis was 65% (95% confidence interval (CI), 43%–84%) for 20 eyes with Pseudomonas keratitis, 48% (95% CI, 32%–63%) for 38 other bacterial keratitis, 45% (95% CI, 17%–77%) for 13 fungal keratitis, and 89% (95% CI, 52%–100%) for nine Acanthamoeba keratitis. The recognition of Pseudomonas keratitis was significantly improved by the occurrence of a larger infiltrate (P = .02), and correctly predicting Acanthamoeba keratitis was enhanced by observing a ring infiltrate (P < .001). Antimicrobial use before referral significantly attenuated clinical diagnosis (P = 0.03) and hampered microbial recovery (P = 0.004).
Established Pseudomonas keratitis and Acanthamoeba keratitis can be suspected before laboratory confirmation, but overlapping inflammatory features and recent empiric antimicrobial treatment limits etiologic recognition of most microbial corneal infections.
The sensitivity and specificity of 18S rRNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the detection of fungal aetiology of microbial keratitis was determined in thirty patients with clinical diagnosis of microbial keratitis.
Corneal scrapings from patients were used for Gram stain, culture and PCR analysis. PCR was performed with primer pairs targeted to the 18S rRNA gene. The result of the PCR was compared with conventional culture and Gram staining method. The PCR positive samples were identified by DNA sequencing of the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of the rRNA gene. Main outcome measures were sensitivity and specificity of PCR in the detection of fungus in corneal keratitis.
Combination of microscopy and culture gave a positive result in 11 of 30 samples of microbial keratitis. PCR detected 10 of 11 samples that were positive by conventional method. One of the 19 samples that was negative by conventional method was positive by PCR. Statistical analysis revealed that the PCR to have a sensitivity of 90.9% and specificity of 94.7% in the detection of a fungal aetiology in microbial keratitis.
PCR is a rapid, sensitive and useful method to detect fungal aetiology in microbial keratitis.
Acanthamoeba species can cause a chronic, progressive, ulcerative keratitis of the eye, which is not responsive to the usual antimicrobial treatment and is frequently mistaken for stromal herpes keratitis. Acanthamoeba keratitis continues to be a burgeoning and unsolved problem. Although soft contact lens wear is reported as the major risk factor in other parts of the world, reports from India suggest that acanthamoeba keratitis is more common among non-contact lens wearers. An unusual case of coinfection with Acanthamoeba and methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) as causes of corneal keratitis in a contact lens wearer from Kashmir, India, is reported. Recent findings have shown that MRSA uses amoebae to spread, sidestepping hospital and other protection measures. Cysts of the isolated Acanthamoeba tolerated an incubation temperature of 40°C, indicating a pathogenic species. This case highlights the importance of culture methods in the diagnosis of corneal infection and the choice of treatment regimen.
Mycotic keratitis is an important cause of corneal blindness world over including India. Geographical location and climate are known to influence the profile of fungal diseases. While there are several reports on mycotic keratitis from southern India, comprehensive clinico-microbiological reports from eastern India are few. The reported prevalence of mycotic keratitis are 36.7%,36.3%,25.6%,7.3% in southern, western, north- eastern and northern India respectively. This study reports the epidemiological characteristics, microbiological diagnosis and treatment outcome of mycotic keratitis at a tertiary eye care center in eastern India.
A retrospective review of medical and microbiology records was done for all patients with laboratory proven fungal keratitis.
Between July 2006 and December 2009, 997 patients were clinically diagnosed as microbial keratitis. While no organisms were found in 25.4% (253/997) corneal samples, 23.4% (233/997) were bacterial, 26.4% (264/997) were fungal (45 cases mixed with bacteria), 1.4% (14/997) were Acanthamoeba with or without bacteria and 23.4% (233/997) were microsporidial with or without bacteria. Two hundred fifteen of 264 (81.4%, 215/264) samples grew fungus in culture while 49 corneal scrapings were positive for fungal elements only in direct microscopy. Clinical diagnosis of fungal keratitis was made in 186 of 264 (70.5%) cases. The microscopic detection of fungal elements was achieved by 10% potassium hydroxide with 0.1% calcoflour white stain in 94.8%(238/251) cases. Aspergillus species (27.9%, 60/215) and Fusarium species (23.2%, 50/215) were the major fungal isolates. Concomitant bacterial infection was seen in 45 (17.1%, 45/264) cases of mycotic keratitis. Clinical outcome of healed scar was achieved in 94 (35.6%, 94/264) cases. Fifty two patients (19.7%, 52/264) required therapeutic PK, 9 (3.4%, 9/264) went for evisceration, 18.9% (50/264) received glue application with bandage contact lens (BCL) for impending perforation, 6.1% (16/264) were unchanged and 16.3% (43/264) were lost to follow up. Poor prognosis like PK (40/52, 75.9%, p < 0.001) and BCL (30/50, 60%, p < 0.001) was seen in significantly larger number of patients with late presentation (> 10 days).
The relative prevalence of mycotic keratitis in eastern India is lower than southern, western and north-eastern India but higher than northern India, however, Aspergillus and Fusarium are the predominant genera associated with fungal keratitis across India. The response to medical treatment is poor in patients with late presentation.
Mycotic; fungal; keratitis; microscopy; culture; treatment outcome
Aims: To evaluate three tests used routinely for the diagnosis of herpes simplex virus (HSV) keratitis.
Methods: Corneal scrapings from 28 patients with clinically typical dendritic corneal ulcer suggestive of HSV keratitis, and 30 patients with clinically non-viral corneal ulcers, were tested by (i) Giemsa stain for multinucleated giant cells, (ii) immunofluorescence assay (IFA) for HSV-1 antigen, and (iii) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for HSV-1 DNA, by investigators masked to clinical diagnosis. The control subjects were also investigated by smears and cultures for bacteria, fungus, and Acanthamoeba.
Results: The specificity and positive predictive values of all three tests for the diagnosis of HSV keratitis were between 95–100%. The sensitivity of IFA and PCR was 78.6% and 81.2%, respectively, and the difference was not significant; however, their sensitivity and negative predictive value were significantly higher than Giemsa stain.
Conclusions: While a combination of IFA and PCR constitute the choice of tests in clinically suspected cases of HSV keratitis, multinucleated giant cells in Giemsa stain can pre-empt testing by IFA and PCR in otherwise atypical cases of HSV keratitis.
herpes simplex virus; keratitis; corneal scrapings
To compare the clinical course of Nocardia spp keratitis with keratitis due to other bacterial organisms, and to assess the effect of corticosteroids as adjunctive therapy using data collected from the Steroids for Corneal Ulcers Trial (SCUT).
Sub-group analysis of a randomized controlled trial
Multicenter randomized controlled trial
500 patients with bacterial keratitis, randomized 1:1 to topical corticosteroid or placebo who had received at least 48 hours of topical moxifloxacin
Topical prednisolone phosphate 1% or placebo; clinical course of Nocardia keratitis
Main outcome measures
Best spectacle-corrected visual acuity and infiltrate/scar size at 3 months from enrollment
Of 500 patients enrolled in the trial, 55 (11%) had a Nocardia corneal ulcer. Patients with Nocardia ulcers had better presentation visual acuity compared to non-Nocardia ulcers (median Snellen 20/45 compared to 20/145, P<0.001), and comparable 3-month visual acuity (median 20/25 versus 20/40, P=0.25). Nocardia ulcers had approximately 2 lines less improvement in visual acuity compared to non-Nocardia ulcers (0.21 logMAR, 95% CI 0.09 to 0.33 logMAR, P=0.001). This difference may reflect the better starting visual acuity in patients with Nocardia ulcers. In Nocardia ulcers, corticosteroids were associated with an average 0.4 mm increase in 3-month infiltrate/scar size (95% CI 0.03 to 0.77mm, P=0.03).
Nocardia ulcers responded well to treatment. They showed less overall improvement in visual acuity than non-Nocardia ulcers, but had better presentation acuity. Corticosteroids may be associated with worse outcomes.
AIMS—To determine the quantitative relation between the major risk factors for microbial keratitis of previous ocular surface disease and contact lens wear and central and peripheral infiltration, often associated with ulceration, in order to establish a rational chemotherapeutic management algorithm.
METHODS—Data from 55 patients were collected over a 10 month period. All cases of presumed microbial keratitis where corneal scrapes had been subjected to microbiological examination were included. Risk factor data and laboratory outcome were recorded. Antimicrobial regimens used to treat each patient were documented.
RESULTS—57 episodes of presumed microbial keratitis were identified from 55 patients, 24 male and 31 female. There were 30 central infiltrates and 27 peripheral infiltrates of which 28 were culture positive (73% of central infiltrates, 22% of peripheral infiltrates). 26 patients had worn contact lenses of whom 12 had culture positive scrapes (9/14 for central infiltrates, 3/12 for peripheral infiltrates). 31 patients had an ocular surface disease of whom five previous herpes simplex virus keratitis patients developed secondary bacterial infection. Anterior chamber activity and an infiltrate size ⩾ 4 mm2 were more common with culture positive central infiltrates than peripheral infiltrates (χ2 test = 11.98, p<0.001).
CONCLUSIONS—Predisposing factors for "presumed" microbial keratitis, either central or peripheral, were: ocular surface disease (26/57 = 45.6%), contact lens wear (26/57 = 45.6%), and previous trauma (5/57 = 8.8%). Larger ulceration (⩾4 mm2) with inflammation was more often associated with positive culture results for central infiltration. None of these four variables (contact lens wear, ocular surface disease, ulcer size, anterior chamber activity) were of intrinsic value in predicting if a peripheral infiltrate would yield identifiable micro-organisms. Successful management of presumed microbial keratitis is aided by a logical approach to therapy, with the use of a defined algorithm of first and second line broad spectrum antimicrobials, for application at each stage of the investigative and treatment process considering central and peripheral infiltration separately.
Keywords: ulcerative keratitis; antimicrobials; ulcers
To study the epidemiology, clinical observations, and microbiologic characteristics of fungal keratitis at tertiary eye care centers in the United States.
Retrospective multicenter case series.
Fungal keratitis cases presenting to participating tertiary eye care centers.
Charts were reviewed for all fungal keratitis cases confirmed by culture, histology, or confocal microscopy between January 1, 2001, and December 31, 2007, at 11 tertiary clinical sites in the United States.
Main Outcome Measures
Frequency of potential predisposing factors and associations between these factors and fungal species.
A total of 733 cases of fungal keratitis were identified. Most cases were confirmed by culture from corneal scraping (n = 693) or biopsies (n = 19); 16 cases were diagnosed by microscopic examination of corneal scraping alone; and 5 cases were diagnosed by confocal microscopy alone. Some 268 of 733 cases (37%) were associated with refractive contact lens wear, 180 of 733 cases (25%) were associated with ocular trauma, and 209 of 733 cases (29%) were associated with ocular surface disease. No predisposing factor was identified in 76 cases (10%). Filamentous fungi were identified in 141 of 180 ocular trauma cases (78%) and in 231 of 268 refractive contact lens-associated cases (86%). Yeast was the causative organism in 111 of 209 cases (53%) associated with ocular surface disease. Yeast accounted for few cases of fungal keratitis associated with refractive contact-lens wear (20 cases), therapeutic contact-lens wear (11 cases), or ocular trauma (21 cases). Surgical intervention was undertaken in 26% of cases and was most frequently performed for fungal keratitis associated with ocular surface disease (44%). Surgical intervention was more likely in cases associated with filamentous fungi (P = 0.03). Among contact lens wearers, delay in diagnosis of 2 or more weeks increased the likelihood of surgery (age-adjusted odds ratio = 2.2; 95% confidence interval, 1.2–4.2).
Trauma, contact lens wear, and ocular surface disease predispose patients to developing fungal keratitis. Filamentous fungi are most frequently the causative organism for fungal keratitis associated with trauma or contact lens wear, whereas yeast is most frequently the causative organism in patients with ocular surface disease. Delay in diagnosis increases the likelihood of surgical intervention for contact lens-associated fungal keratitis.
Proprietary or commercial disclosure may be found after the references.
AIMS--Suppurative keratitis is a serious problem in all tropical countries, but very little information is available about the causative organisms in Africa. The objectives were to identify the causative organisms and the proportion of cases caused by fungi in southern Ghana, and to determine whether correct decisions about treatment could be made on the basis of Gram stain in the eye clinic. METHODS--Scrapings were taken from corneal ulcers of consecutive new patients presenting at Korle Bu Hospital, Accra, and inoculated on 'chocolate' and Sabouraud's agars. Further scrapings were taken for Gram staining and interpretation in the eye clinic. Duplicate slides were assessed by an experienced microbiologist in the UK. RESULTS--One or more organisms were cultured from 114 of 199 patients (57.3%), the most common being Fusarium species, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Fungi, alone or in combination, were isolated from 56% of the patients who had positive cultures. In total, 122 patients (61.3%) had their treatment either determined or altered based on the results of the microbiological diagnosis; in 87 of these solely on the basis of direct microscopic examination. CONCLUSIONS--Infection by filamentous fungi accounted for more than half of the ulcers from which cultures were obtained. Both training in technique and experience in interpretation are necessary for microscopy based diagnosis by staff in the clinic to be of greatest value. Direct microscopy was particularly useful for detecting fungi.
To review the epidemiological characteristics, microbiological profile, and treatment outcome of patients with suspected microbial keratitis.
Materials and Methods:
Retrospective analysis of a non-comparative series from the database was done. All the patients presenting with corneal stromal infiltrate underwent standard microbiologic evaluation of their corneal scrapings, and smear and culture-guided antimicrobial therapy.
Out of 5897 suspected cases of microbial keratitis 3563 (60.4%) were culture-proven (bacterial – 1849, 51.9%; fungal – 1360, 38.2%; Acanthamoeba – 86, 2.4%; mixed – 268, 7.5%). Patients with agriculture-based activities were at 1.33 times (CI 1.16–1.51) greater risk of developing microbial keratitis and patients with ocular trauma were 5.33 times (CI 6.41–6.44) more likely to develop microbial keratitis. Potassium hydroxide with calcofluor white was most sensitive for detecting fungi (90.6%) and Acanthamoeba (84.0%) in corneal scrapings, however, Gram stain had a low sensitivity of 56.6% in detection of bacteria. Majority of the bacterial infections were caused by Staphylococcus epidermidis (42.3%) and Fusarium species (36.6%) was the leading cause of fungal infections. A significantly larger number of patients (691/1360, 50.8%) with fungal keratitis required surgical intervention compared to bacterial (799/1849, 43.2%) and Acanthamoeba (15/86, 17.4%) keratitis. Corneal healed scar was achieved in 75.5%, 64.8%, and 90.0% of patients with bacterial, fungal, and Acanthamoeba keratitis respectively.
While diagnostic and treatment modalities are well in place the final outcome is suboptimal in fungal keratitis. With more effective treatment available for bacterial and Acanthamoeba keratitis, the treatment of fungal keratitis is truly a challenge.
Diagnosis; epidemiology; infective keratitis; outcome; treatment
Colletotrichum graminicola is a medically important fungus belonging to the order Melanconiales under the class Coelomycetes. The members of the genus Colletotrichum are primarily plant pathogens which cause anthracnoses (fungal infection in plants). In the past few decades, they are progressively being implicated as etiological agents of subcutaneous hyalohyphomycoses and keratomycoses. Of the five medically important members in the genus Colletotrichum, keratitis due to Colletotrichum graminicola is rare. We diagnosed Colletotrichum graminicola keratitis in a 44-year-old man who presented with a non-healing corneal ulcer since three weeks. Positive smears and cultures from the corneal scrapings established the causative organism as C. graminicola. The patient was treated with a combination of oral ketoconazole and topical fluconazole and natamycin. Infection resolved over 10 weeks and antimicrobials were stopped. We describe the clinical presentation and treatment outcome of Colletotrichum graminicola keratitis.
Coelomycetous fungi; Colletotrichum graminicola; keratomycosis
Recurrence of microbial keratitis in the presence of protozoal infection is very rare and infrequently reported unless predisposing factors are present. The association of recurrent microbial keratitis and synthetic microfibrils has never previously been reported to our knowledge. This single interventional case study describes the clinical course and treatment of a contact lens wearer who was treated for Acanthamoeba keratitis with superinfection from bacterial organisms in the presence of synthetic microfibrils. The presence of synthetic fibrils on a corneal ulcer base may act as a nidus for pathological organisms and interfere with normal corneal healing. This may result in infection recurrence and the growth of resistant opportunistic organisms.
Acanthamoeba; microbial keratitis; cornea ulcer; contact lens infection; synthetic microfibrils
Identification of the causative organisms in suspected bacterial keratitis traditionally involves collecting multiple corneal scrapes, which are plated directly onto different solid agar culture media. Difficulties have been reported with this practice, so the development of a simpler diagnostic method in suspected bacterial keratitis would be useful. It is unclear whether a single corneal scrape sent to the microbiology laboratory in a liquid transport culture medium (indirect method) is as reliable for the diagnosis of bacterial keratitis as inoculation of multiple scrapes directly onto agar plates (direct method). To investigate this, bacterial recovery was assessed following transfer and transport of different concentrations and types of bacteria from an artificially contaminated surgical blade into brain heart infusion (BHI). Bacterial recovery rates between the proposed (indirect) and standard (direct) method were then compared after the in vitro inoculation of pig corneas and following specimen collection in patients with presumed bacterial ulcerative keratitis. Recovery of bacteria from contaminated surgical blades was found to be the same from both solid and liquid culture media. There was no significant difference in the numbers of positive cultures from solid (direct) and liquid (indirect) culture media, both in the experimental pig cornea inoculation study (P = 0.34) and in experiments with patients with clinical infections (P = 0.4), with an 85.2% agreement between methods (kappa = 0.61, P < 0.0001). In conclusion, therefore, the collection of two corneal scrapes, one used for Gram staining and the other transported in BHI followed by plating and subculturing in an enrichment medium, provides a simple method for the investigation of presumed bacterial keratitis.
The corneal disease is a priority problem in Oman. We present patients with contact lens (CL) induced severe keratitis, admitted in the corneal unit of Al Nahdha Hospital in Oman.
The study was conducted in 2005–2006. Ophthalmologists examined the eyes using slit lamp bio-microscope. Visual acuity was noted using Snellen’s distance vision chart. Specimens of corneal scraping and CLs were sent for culture and sensitivity tests. Patients with severe keratitis were admitted and treated with medicines. Corneal and visual statuses were noted at the time of discharge from hospital and after six weeks. Numbers, percentages and their 95% confidence intervals were calculated. Pre- and post-treatment vision were compared using a scattergram.
The 52 eyes of 15 males and 37 female patients with corneal ulcers were examined. Thirty-two patients were between 20 to 30 years of age. Only 13 (25%) patients had visited an ophthalmologist within 24 hours of developing severe keratitis. Seventeen (33%) had central ulcers and six (11.5%) had ulcer ≥5 mm in size. Pseudomonas was found in 29 (55.8%) of CL and corneal material scraped from the eyes of 15 (28.8%) patients. Vision was <6/60 (legally blind) in 12 (23.1%) eyes before and in five (9.6%) eyes after treatment. Twenty-six (50%) patients were lost to follow up.
CL related severe keratitis causes visual disabilities. Prevention and proper records are essential. Treatment improves vision and hence facilities for management should be strengthened.
Contact lens; Corneal blindness, Keratitis; Prevention of blindness; Refractive error
Microbial keratitis is a potentially vision threatening condition worldwide. Knowing the predisposing factors and etiologic microorganism can help control and prevent this problem. This is the first study of its kind in Kingdom of Bahrain.
To study the profile of microbial keratitis in Bahrain with special focus on risk factors, clinical outcome and microbilogical results.
A retrospective analysis of all patients admitted in Salmaniya Medical Complex over a period of three years from January 2005 to January 2007 was performed. A total of 285 patients with keratitis were analysed. Non infectious corneal ulceration were excluded. Data collected from medical records were demographic features, predisposing factors, history of corneal trauma, associated ocular conditions, visual acuity at the time of presentation and the clinical course. Predisposing risk factors measured were contact lens use, presence of blepharitis, diabetes, lid abnormalities, dry eyes, keratoplasty and refractive surgery. For contact lens wearers any contact lens related risk factors that can lead to keratitis were measured. Pearson's chi-square test was used to carry out statistical analysis wherever required.
Contact lens wear, as a risk factor for microbial keratitis, formed 40% of the total study population. Other risk factors identified were dry eyes 24 cases (8%), 10 blepharitis (3%), 22 trauma (8%), abnormal lid position 14 cases (5%). 6 patients keratitis in a graft (2%), 3 had refractive surgery (1%). The most common causative organism isolated was pseudomonas aeroginosa (54%) followed by streptococcus 12%, staph 10%, other organisms 6%. 95% of contact lens wearers had pseudomonas Aeroginosa. This was statistically significant (p< 0.0001). The vast majority, 92% healed with scarring. 1% needed therapeutic keratoplasty and 7% lost to follow up. Risk factors in contact lens wearers were; 41 patients (36%) slept with the contact lenses. 12 (8%) had contact lens related trauma and 8 (7%) had poor hygiene. Sleeping with the contact lenses was statistically significant (p< 0.0001).
Conclusion & Recommendation:
Contact lens wear is the major risk factor for microbial keratitis in Bahrain. Pseudomonas aeroginosa was the commonest bacteria isolated. Sleeping with the contact lenses is the major risk factor among contact lens wearers. Majority of keratitis patients resulted in permanent scarring on the cornea. Educating the public, especially on contact lens care and precaution, can help reduce this visual morbidity.
Keratitis; Corneal Ulcer; Pseudomonas Aeroginosa; Contact Lenses
Herpes simplex keratitis (HSK) is a sight threatening ocular infection and occurs worldwide. A prompt laboratory diagnosis is often very useful. Conventional virology techniques are often expensive and time consuming. We describe here a highly economical, simple, rapid and sensitive technique for the collection of impression cytology, for the laboratory diagnosis of HSK.
Fifteen patients with a clinical diagnosis of HSK (either dendritic or geographic ulcers) and five patients with other corneal infections (Mycotic keratitis, n = 3, Bacterial keratitis, n = 2) were included in the study. Corneal impression cytology specimens were collected using a sterile glass slide with polished edges instead of a membrane, by pressing the surface of one end of the slide firmly, but gently on the corneal lesion. Additionally, corneal scrapings were collected following the impression cytology procedure. Impression cytology and corneal scrapings were stained by an immunoperoxidase or immunofluorescence assay for the detection of HSV-1 antigen using a polyclonal antibody to HSV-1. Corneal scrapings were processed for viral cultures by employing a shell vial assay.
This simple technique allowed the collection of adequate corneal epithelial cells for the detection of HSV-1 antigen in a majority of the patients. HSV-1 antigen was detected in 12/15 (80%) cases while virus was isolated from 5/15 (33.3%) patients with HSK. All the patients with a clinical diagnosis of HSK (n = 15) were confirmed by virological investigations (viral antigen detection and/or viral cultures). HSV-1 antigen was detected in the impression cytology smears and corneal scrapings in 11/15 (73.3%) and 12/15 (80%) of the patients, respectively (P = 1.00). None of the patients in the control group were positive for viral antigen or virus isolation. Minimal background staining was seen in impression cytology smears, while there was some background staining in corneal scrapings stained by the immunoassays.
Collection of impression cytology on a sterile glass slide is a simple, rapid and inexpensive technique for the diagnosis of HSK. Immunological techniques applied on such smears provide virological results within 2-5 hours. This technique could be modified for use in the diagnosis of other external eye diseases, which needs further evaluation.
To identify predisposing factors leading to corneal perforation in patients with microbial keratitis.
Two groups of 60 patients each, with perforated corneal ulcers and healed/healing corneal ulcers, respectively, were recruited in a case‐control study conducted in northern India. The cases and controls were matched by age and time of presentation. A standardised proforma was used to identify potential predisposing factors for demographic, social, medical, ocular, and treatment history. All participants underwent a detailed ocular examination. Corneal scrapings were performed where relevant.
The characteristics associated with corneal perforation in microbial keratitis were outdoor occupation (p = 0.005), illiteracy (p = 0.02), excessive alcohol use (p = 0.03), history of “something falling into eye” (p = 0.003), trauma with vegetable matter (p = 0.008), vision less than counting fingers at referral (p<0.001), central location of ulcer (p<0.001), lack of corneal vascularisation (p<0.001), delay in starting initial treatment (p<0.001), failure to start fortified antibiotics (p<0.001), and monotherapy with fluoroquinolones (p = 0.002). The lack of corneal vascularisation (OR 6.4, 95% CI 4.2 to 13.5), delay in starting initial treatment (OR 35.6, 95% CI 6.9 to 68.2), and failure to start fortified antibiotics (OR 19.9, 95% CI 2.7 to 64.7) retained significance on a logistic regression model.
This study characterises microbial keratitis cases at increased risk of corneal perforation and reinforces the need for standardised referral and treatment protocols for patients with corneal ulcer on their first contact at primary care level in the developing world.
keratitis; corneal ulcer; eye infection; corneal perforation