Corynebacterium spp as causative agents of microbial keratitis

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To report the clinical and microbiological profile of keratitis caused by Corynebacterium spp.


The medical and microbiology records of 22 patients, who had presented at the L V Prasad Eye Institute, Bhubaneswar, between June 2009 and December 2012, and whose corneal scrapings had yielded significant growth of Corynebacterium spp, were retrospectively reviewed. A detailed ocular examination was performed before the respective corneal scraping was sent for a microbiological work-up. The data collected from each record included age, gender, predisposing factors (ocular and systemic), clinical presentation, management and outcome of treatment.


The mean age of the patients was 43.8±24.4 years. Ocular predisposing factor was present in 14 (63.6%) eyes. Surgical intervention was required in 12 (54.5%) patients. In vitro susceptibility (Kirby–Bauer disc diffusion method) results of Corynebacterium spp to vancomycin (17/19, 89.5%), cefazolin (16/20, 80%), chloramphenicol (11/20, 55%), ofloxacin (13/19, 68.4%), ciprofloxacin (10/20, 50%) and gatifloxacin (10/19, 52.6%) were variable. Drug resistance (more than one drug) was seen in nine (40.9%) Corynebacterium isolates, of which, two (22.2%) showed multidrug resistance to three or more classes of antibiotics.


Corynebacteria can cause severe corneal infection requiring surgical intervention.

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