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1.  Is Microsporidial keratitis an emerging cause of stromal keratitis? – a case series study 
BMC Ophthalmology  2005;5:19.
Background
Microsporidial keratitis is a rare cause of stromal keratitis. We present a series of five cases of microsporidial keratitis from a single centre in southern India with microbiologic and histopathologic features.
Case presentation
Patient charts of five cases of microsporidial stromal keratitis diagnosed between January 2002 and June 2004 were reviewed retrospectively for clinical data, microbiologic and histopathologic data. The presence of microsporidia was confirmed by special stains on corneal scrapings and/or corneal tissues, and electron microscopy. All patients were immunocompetent with a preceding history of trauma in three. Four patients presented with unilateral, small, persisting deep stromal infiltrates, of uncertain etiology, in the cornea, which were not responding to conventional antimicrobial treatment and required penetrating keratoplasty in three. Fifth case was unsuspected and underwent keratoplasty for post-traumatic scar. Three of five cases were diagnosed on corneal scrapings, prior to keratoplasty, while two were diagnosed only on histology. The microsporidia appeared as oval well defined bodies with dense staining at one pole. None of the patients showed recurrence following keratoplasty.
Conclusion
Microsporidia, though rare, should be suspected in chronic culture-negative stromal keratitis. Organisms could lie dormant without associated inflammation.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-5-19
PMCID: PMC1200253  PMID: 16105181
2.  Keratocyte loss in corneal infection through apoptosis: a histologic study of 59 cases 
BMC Ophthalmology  2004;4:16.
Background
Keratocyte loss by apoptosis following epithelial debridement is a well-recognized entity. In a study of corneal buttons obtained from patients of corneal ulcer undergoing therapeutic keratoplasty, we observed loss of keratocytes in the normal appearing corneal stroma, surrounding the zone of inflammation. Based on these observations, we hypothesized that the cell loss in the inflammatory free zone of corneal stroma is by apoptosis that could possibly be a non-specific host response, independent of the nature of infectious agent.
Methods
To test our hypothesis, in this study, we performed Terminal deoxyribonucleotidyl transferase-mediated d-Uridine 5" triphosphate Nick End Labelling (TUNEL) staining on 59 corneal buttons from patients diagnosed as bacterial, fungal, viral and Acanthamoeba keratitis. The corneal sections were reviewed for morphologic changes in the epithelium, stroma, type, degree and depth of inflammation, loss of keratocytes in the surrounding stroma (posterior or peripheral). TUNEL positivity was evaluated in the corneal sections, both in the zone of inflammation as well as the surrounding stroma. A correlation was attempted between the keratocyte loss, histologic, microbiologic and clinical features.
Results
The corneal tissues were from 59 patients aged between 16 years and 85 years (mean 46 years) and included fungal (22), viral (15), bacterial (14) and Acanthamoeba (8) keratitis. The morphological changes in corneal tissues noted were: epithelial ulceration (52, 88.1%), destruction of Bowman's layer (58, 99%), mild to moderate (28; 47.5%) to severe inflammation (31; 52.5%). Morphologic evidence of disappearance or reduced number of keratocytic nuclei in the corneal stroma was noted in 49 (83%) cases; while the TUNEL positive brown cells were identified in all cases 53/54 (98%), including cases of fungal (19), bacterial (14), viral (13), and Acanthamoeba keratitis. TUNEL staining was located mostly in the deeper stroma and in few cases the peripheral stroma. TUNEL positivity was also noted with the polymorphonuclear infiltrates and in few epithelial cells (10 of 59, 17%) cases, more with viral infections (6/10; 60%).
Conclusions
We report apoptotic cell death of keratocytes in the corneal stroma in infectious keratitis, a phenomenon independent of type of infectious agent. The inflammatory cells in the zone of inflammation also show evidence of apoptotic cell death. It could be speculated that the infective process possibly triggers keratocyte loss of the surrounding stroma by apoptosis, which could possibly be a protective phenomenon. It also suggests that necrotic cell death and apoptotic cell deaths could occur simultaneously in infective conditions of the cornea.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-4-16
PMCID: PMC545077  PMID: 15617577
infectious keratitis; apoptosis; keratocytes; TUNEL stain
3.  Atypical Herpes simplex keratitis (HSK) presenting as a perforated corneal ulcer with a large infiltrate in a contact lens wearer: multinucleated giant cells in the Giemsa smear offered a clue to the diagnosis 
BMC Ophthalmology  2001;1:1.
Purpose
To report a case of atypical herpes simplex keratitis initially diagnosed as bacterial keratitis, in a contact lens wearer.
Results
Case report of an 18-year-old woman using contact lenses who presented with pain, redness and gradual decrease in vision in the right eye. Examination revealed a paracentral large stromal infiltrate with a central 2-mm perforation. Corneal and conjunctival scrapings were collected for microbiological investigations. Corneal tissue was obtained following penetrating keratoplasty. Corneal scraping revealed no microorganisms. Giemsa stained smear showed multinucleated giant cells. Conjunctival, corneal scrapings and tissue were positive for herpes simplex virus - 1 (HSV) antigen. Corneal tissue was positive for HSV DNA by PCR.
Conclusions
Atypical HSV keratitis can occur in contact lens wearers. A simple investigation like Giemsa stain may offer a clue to the diagnosis.
doi:10.1186/1471-2415-1-1
PMCID: PMC31434  PMID: 11325340

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