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Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 81-86

Bacterial contamination of multi-dose eye drops at ophthalmology department, University of Gondar, Northwest Ethiopia

1 Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia
2 Department of Ophthalmology, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia
3 Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Correspondence Address:
Asamere Tsegaw
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Gondar, P.O. Box 196, Gondar
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/meajo.MEAJO_308_16

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Purpose: Ophthalmic solutions used for both diagnostic and therapeutic purposes were found to be contaminated with bacteria pathogens and caused serious ocular infections such as keratitis and endophthalmitis. The objective was to assess the magnitude and pattern of bacterial contamination of multi-dose ophthalmic medications and investigate the drug susceptibility pattern of the isolates in the Department of Ophthalmology at Gondar University Teaching Hospital. Methods: A total of 100 ophthalmic medications in-use by patients and eye-care workers have been taken and cultured for potential bacterial contamination in the Microbiology Department after 1 week and >1 week of use. The dropper tip and the residual eye medications were examined for contamination. The contaminating bacteria were identified using a standard procedure and drug susceptibility testing to selected antimicrobial agents was done. Results: Eleven ophthalmic medications were contaminated by different bacterial species with a prevalence of 11%. Multi-use and longer duration of use of eye medications were associated with higher rate of contamination. The contamination level ranges from 0% for antibiotics, 20% for local anesthetics, and 40% for povidone iodine. Among bacteria identified, Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase-negative Staphylococcus species were resistant to methicillin while others were sensitive to the antibiotics tested. Conclusion: The prevalence of contamination was low, but methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus was a potential risk. It is recommended that the Department of Ophthalmology should design set of rules about duration of use and safe handling of ophthalmic medications by the staff and patients.

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