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Corneal culture collection: what is best?

Poster Details

First Author: N.Santana THE NETHERLANDS

Co Author(s):    Y. Henry                    

Abstract Details


To compare traditional corneal scrapings with the easy-to-use ESwab specimen collection and transportation system in infectious keratitis.


VU university medical center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.


30 cases of infectious keratitis were cultured using two methods: corneal scrapings cultured directly on brain heart infusion (BHI) broth and corneal specimen collection and transportation with the ESwab from Copan Diagnostics Inc.


25 cases (83%) showed identical results using both culture methods. Contamination of the specimens occurred in 8 ESwabs (27%) and in 9 BHI broths (30%). The ESwab showed a 92.9% sensitivity and a specificity of 75% compared to the traditional corneal scrapings on BHI broth. In 1 case, the BHI broth showed which pathogen caused the infectious keratitis where the ESwab did not. However, in 3 other cases, it was the other way around, with the ESwab revealing the cause of infection while the BHI broth remaining clean.


There is no such thing as an ideal corneal culture method, however, the ESwab showed promising results, comparable to a more traditional method. The ESwab is easier and quicker in use, but because this is a transport medium instead of a culture medium, one should take into account the delay the ESwab may bring.

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