To examine the microbial distribution and antimicrobial susceptibility of culture-positive microbial keratitis at a large tertiary referral center in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States.
Retrospective review of culture-positive microbial keratitis cases at the Wilmer Eye Institute from 2016 through 2020.
Of the 474 culture-positive microbial keratitis cases, most were bacterial (N=450, 94.9%), followed by fungal (N=48, 10.1%) and Acanthamoeba keratitis (N=15, 3.1%). Of the 450 bacterial isolates, 284 (69.5%) were gram-positive organisms, whereas 157 (28.4%) were gram-negative organisms. The most common bacterial species isolated was coagulase-negative Staphylococcus spp (N=154, 24.8%), and the most common gram-negative isolate was Pseudomonas aeruginosa (N=76, 12.3%). Among fungi, the most common isolates were Candida (N=25, 45.4%), whereas Fusarium (N=6, 10.9%) and Aspergillus (N=3, 5.5%) were less common. Of the 217 bacterial isolates tested for erythromycin susceptibility, 121 (55.7%; ∼60% of coagulase-negative staphylococci and corynebacteria tested) showed resistance to erythromycin.
Microbial keratitis in the Baltimore Mid-Atlantic region of the United States is most commonly caused by bacteria, with fungi and acanthamoeba being less common. Gram-positive bacterial infections predominate. Among fungal keratitis cases, Candida species are more commonly encountered than are filamentous species. Use of erythromycin as infection prophylaxis should be reexamined. Findings from our study may guide empiric treatment in this geographic region.