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Alcaligenes xylosoxidans Conjunctivitis

Rush, Ryan MD; Friedlander, Miles MD

doi: 10.1097/ICO.0b013e31806c78bc
Case Report

Purpose: To report a case of chronic unilateral conjunctivitis caused by Alcaligenes xylosoxidans.

Methods: A previously healthy 47-year-old woman presented with left eye purulent discharge and irritation beginning 3 months earlier. The patient had previously been treated with bacitracin and olopatadine without improvement. Bacterial staining, culture, and antibiotic sensitivities were performed from a conjunctival swab.

Results: The cultures revealed heavy growth of A. xylosoxidans. The organism was resistant to aminoglycosides, fluoroquinolones, and cephalosporins. The patient was started on polytrim, but an allergic reaction forced the use of topical Timentin 2%. After 14 days of treatment, the infection completely resolved.

Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first case report of an external ocular infection caused by A. xylosoxidans in a host without predisposing risk factors and the first case report of isolated conjunctivitis caused by A. xylosoxidans. A. xylosoxidans should be considered a rare but potential pathogen capable of producing chronic conjunctivitis in an otherwise healthy host.

From the Department of Ophthalmology, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA.

Received for publication December 26, 2006; revision received March 16, 2007; accepted March 31, 2007.

Reprints: Ryan Rush, 1107 S. Peters #412, New Orleans, LA 70130 (e-mail:

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.