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Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23-26

Ocular surface microbial flora in patients with chronic limbal stem cell deficiency undergoing cultivated oral mucosal epithelial transplantation


1 Dr. Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, New Delhi, India
2 Stem Cell Culture Facility, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India
3 Ocular Microbiology Services, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Murugesan Vanathi
Prof. of Ophthalmology Cornea, Ocular Surface, Cataract and Refractive Services, Dr. Rajendra Prasad Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/meajo.MEAJO_172_16

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PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to analyze the ocular surface microbial flora in patients with chronic limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD) due to Stevens–Johnson Syndrome (SJS) and ocular chemical injury undergoing cultivated oral mucosal epithelial transplantation (COMET). METHODS: Patients of SJS and chemical injury who had bilateral total LSCD planned for COMET were studied. Conjunctival swab was taken before surgery. Parameters evaluated were organism cultured, sensitivity pattern, frequency of positive culture, and clinical impact on management strategy. RESULTS: Thirteen patients were included in which nine were males and four females. All patients had positive conjunctival swab culture. Most common organism isolated was Staphylococcus epidermidis, followed by Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The staphylococcal species isolated were sensitive to all the conventional antibiotics while Pseudomonas cultured showed resistance to cefuroxime, ceftriaxone, and ceftazidime. Repeat conjunctival swab sent after a week of topical antibiotic therapy yielded positive culture of the same organism twice in 25% (3/12), thrice in 58.3% (7/12), and four times in 16.6% (2/12) of the patients. One patient had a polymicrobial flora with positive yield of S. aureus (thrice), S. epidermidis (twice), and P. aeruginosa (twice) in consecutive conjunctival swab culture in the absence of clinical infection. Two patients with persistent positive cultures had to undergo repeat oral mucosal harvesting as the transplantation of the cultivated explants had to be deferred. CONCLUSION: Ocular surface in LSCD patients yielded pathogenic organisms on culture. Poor ocular surface with absent tear film could be the contributing factors. It is important to perform the conjunctival swab culture before COMET surgery.


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