[No detection of mycoplasma in 205 conjunctival swabs]
Miño, Kaspar H
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Mycoplasma is known to cause pulmonary and urogenital infections in humans. A pathogenicity for the human eye never has been assessed, although they have been observed in the peripheral eye in a few cases of acute and non-specific conjunctivitis, in patients with Reiter's disease and in newborns. Due to the absence of cell walls, mycoplasma is only sensitive to a few antibiotics. Therefore, we presume that mycoplasma has a role in non-specific and chronic conjunctivitis. It is conceivable that in HIV-positive patients the risk of opportunistic colonization of the conjunctiva by mycoplasma is increased. PATIENTS AND METHODS. Between January and December 1992, 205 conjunctival swabs of 151 patients were prospectively analyzed for mycoplasma. The group contained 51 HIV-infected patients (94 swabs). A total of 85 swabs were from non-irritated eyes and the remaining (120) from peripherally inflamed eyes, mainly diagnosed as non-specific or chronic conjunctivitis (75 swabs). Specimen were obtained from the inferior fornix conjunctivae by use of a moistened cotton swab, which was directly immersed in culture broth. For subsequent culture, we used a liquid and a solid mycoplasma medium to differentiate Mycoplasma hominis, Mycoplasma fermentans and Ureaplasma urealyticum. In 77 swabs, a second sample was taken, which was investigated at the Institute for Poultry Diseases of the Ludwig Maximilians University, Munich. OUTCOME. None of 205 swabs, including the 77 samples tested in parallel, gave positive results for mycoplasma. Six cases were positive for bacteria and five cases for fungi. CONCLUSION. In adult patients at the Munich University Eye Hospital with either non-irritated eyes or non-specific and chronic conjunctivitis, no mycoplasma could be detected. With regard to HIV infection, there is no indication that mycoplasma plays a role in opportunistic infections of the conjunctiva.
CitationOphthalmologe. 1994 Oct;91(5):676-9.
College of health sciences,University of Nairobi