Author(s): Bharathi MJ, Ramakrishnan R, Vasu S, Meenakshi R, Shivkumar C,
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Abstract PURPOSE: To study the epidemiological characteristics of bacterial keratitis seen at a tertiary eye care referral centre in south India. METHODS: A retrospective review of medical records of all culture-positive bacterial keratitis which were seen over a 3 years period, from September 1999 through August 2002 was performed. After clinical evaluation corneal scrapings were collected and subjected to culture and microscopy using standard protocols in all patients. RESULTS: Out of 3183 corneal ulcers evaluated, 1043(32.77\%) were found to be of bacterial aetiology. A total of 1109 bacterial pathogens were isolated from 1046 eyes with keratitis. The predominant bacterial species isolated was Streptococcus pneumoniae (37.5\%). Males were 592(56.76\%) and 451(43.24\%) were females. There were 564(54.07\%) rural residents and 479(45.93\%) urban residents; this difference was statistically significant (p< 0.0001). Patients with age more than 50 years (60.2\%) were affected significantly more than patients aged less than 50 years (30.8\%). While 57.62\% of patients were non-agricultural workers, 42.38\% were farmers; this difference was statistically significant (p<0.0001). Co-existing ocular diseases predisposing to corneal ulceration were identified in 703(67.4\%) patients, compared to other predisposing risk factors in 340(32.6\%) patients. One hundred and seventy seven (16.97\%) had corneal injury with soil and/or sand, compared to 115(11.03\%) patients who had injury due to other materials and the difference was statistically significant. There was lower incidence of bacterial keratitis from June to September. CONCLUSIONS: The epidemiological characteristics of bacterial keratitis vary geographically. This study describing the features of bacterial keratitis would greatly help the practising ophthalmologist and other medical practitioners in the management of their patients.
This article was published in Indian J Med Microbiol
and referenced in Biochemistry & Analytical Biochemistry