Purpose: To investigate the utility of additional microbial analyses to detect the causative microorganism of microbial keratitis and to determine the strength of association between clinical variables.
Methods: This retrospective study included 125 eyes of 123 people presenting with presumed infectious keratitis associated with contact lens wear, and examined between January 2001 and November 2011.
Results: Sixty-three male and 60 female patients with a mean age of 24.14 ( ±6.7) and 26.7 (±10.0) years, respectively, were included in the study. Among the samples tested, 38 (40%) corneal cultures, 85 (92%) contact lens cultures, and 49 (80%) contact lens case cultures yielded positive results. In the samples for which all microbial investigations were performed and corneal culture was positive, cultures of contact lenses and corneas yielded the same microbes in 94% of cases, and for contact lens case and corneal cultures 77% of cases yielded the same microbes. Importantly, these were monocultures of the same microbe isolated from the cornea in the contact lens and lens case cultures. The odds of having a positive corneal culture was 37 times higher (p = 0.008) when patients presented to the clinic 2 weeks after the onset of symptoms. Pseudomonas aeruginosa was the predominant organism isolated, and most isolates were susceptible to commonly used antimicrobials.
Conclusions: Contact lens culture might be an effective test to perform to detect and determine the causative microorganism when corneal cultures are unavailable or yield no microorganisms upon culture. A longer duration of symptoms before presenting to the clinic was significantly associated with obtaining a positive corneal culture.