Clinical Features of Infectious Keratitis Caused by Propionibacterium Acnes

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Purpose:Propionibacterium acnes is a commensal bacteria whose pathogenicity in infectious keratitis is unclear. In this study, we report infectious keratitis cultured with P. acnes and evaluate its clinical characteristics.Methods:All cases of infectious keratitis submitted to the microbiology laboratory of St. Mary's Hospital of Seoul between January 2013 and April 2014 were reviewed. Nonpretreated cases that were positive for P. acnes were identified, and clinical characteristics and treatment outcomes were studied.Results:Of 132 cultures submitted to the microbiology laboratory, 89 (67.4%) were positive for growth, and a total of 16 (17.9%) of the 89 cases yielded P. acnes in culture medium. Infectious keratitis that was positive for P. acnes was generally small (62.5%) with deep stromal infiltration (81.25%) and a peripheral location (56.25%). The average incubation period was 11.06±5.76 days, and the average time to reepithelialization was 23.50+13.52 days. All the cases of P. acnes evaluated in this report responded well to medical treatment.Conclusions:Infectious keratitis with P. acnes is not uncommon and can be confused with other Gram-positive cocci. Thus, P. acnes should be suspected in small-sized keratitis with an unusually long incubation period.

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