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Microbial keratitis: a 5-year review of corneal scrapings at a rural hospital in Ireland

Poster Details

First Author: A. McGlacken-Byrne IRELAND

Co Author(s):                        

Abstract Details


To review the epidemiology, risk factors, microbiologic spectrum, levels of antibiotic resistance and patient demographics of microbial keratitis.


Corneal scrapings performed between January 2015 and December 2020 in Sligo University Hospital, Ireland.


Patients who had a corneal scrapings over a 5-year period were identified through the local microbiology database, and a retrospective audit of their medical records was carried out. Clinical information was gathered from medical records, and smear, culture, and antibiotic resistance results were from the microbiology database. Associations between risk factors for keratitis and variables such as patient demographics, causative organism and antibiotic resistance were analysed.


Sixty-five corneal scrapings taken for suspected cases of microbial keratitis were included. Forty-three percent of patients were men, and there was a bimodal distribution in the age of presentation. A common risk factor for keratitis was contact lens wear (17%, n=11). 35% (n=23) of corneal scrapings yielded positive results. Twenty-one positive cultures were of bacterial origin, one was fungal (Acremonium species), and another showed mixed growth. The most common bacteria isolated was Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which was sensitive toward ciprofloxacin and gentamicin antibiotics, was more common than other culture results in contact lens-related cases.


In this series, the most common risk factor for keratitis was contact lens wear and the most commonly isolated organism was Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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