To study the microbiological spectrum and in vitro susceptibility of bacterial isolates from explanted scleral buckles and to correlate clinical presentation to the causative agent.
Medical records of patients who underwent buckle explantation from July 2007 to May 2012 were reviewed retrospectively. Clinical features and microbiological profile were noted and correlated.
Twenty of 24 buckles (83.33%) from 24 patients grew 21 isolates. Isolates included 6 acid-fast bacilli (28.57%; atypical mycobacteria = 5, Nocardia asteroides = 1), 5 gram-positive bacilli (23.8%; Corynebacterium spp. = 4, Bacillus sp. = 1), 4 gram-positive cocci (19.0%; Staphylococcus spp. = 4), 2 gram-negative bacilli (9.5%; Pseudomonas aeruginosa = 2), and 4 fungi (19.0%; Aspergillus spp. = 3, Paecilomyces sp. = 1). Acid-fast bacilli and gram-negative bacilli were sensitive to amikacin and gram-positive bacilli and gram-positive cocci to vancomycin. Buckle exposure within 2 years of primary surgery tended to be noninfective (P = 0.06). Fungal or mycobacterial infections were more symptomatic than those with Corynebacterium species. Results of microscopic examination of conjunctival swab in 5 of 7 eyes (71.4%) were consistent with culture of conjunctival swab and explanted buckles.
Clinical features and microscopic examination of conjunctival swab may give a lead toward the causative organism in suspected buckle infections. Based on these leads, vancomycin and amikacin may be used as the initial empirical therapy.