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Capnocytophaga ochracea Chronic Blepharoconjunctivitis

Wasserman Daniel M.D.; Asbell, Penny A. M.D.; Friedman, Alan J. M.D.; Bottone, Edward J. Ph.D.

A 70-year-old woman presented with a 10-month history of chronic blepharoconjunctivitis that had been unresponsive to multiple methods of treatment. The patient was not immunocompromised and had no history of corneal disease, ocular trauma, or lacrimal duct obstruction. Gram and Giemsa staining of conjunctival smears resulted in visualization of slender, fusiform bacilli. Culture of conjunctival scrapings led to the recovery of a fastidious isolate identified as Capnocytophaga ochracea. The same microorganism was also recovered from cultures of the patient's gingiva. The blepharoconjunctivitis responded well to treatment with fortified cefazolin eye drops. Awareness of this easily overlooked bacterial species should prompt the use of smear and cultural techniques.

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.