Ophthalmia neonatorum in the United Arab Emirates
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Ophthalmia neonatorum in small babies is a common problem in neonatal units in Al Ain, but is infrequently associated with sexually transmitted disease agents. A study of 81 babies with ophthalmia neonatorum showed that 81.5% had bacterial or fungal infections. Staphylococcus aureus was the commonest causative organism followed by Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa while Chlamydia trachomatis and Neisseria gonorrhoeae were responsible for less than 5% of all cases. The disease was predominantly mild to moderately severe and easily treated with topical broad-spectrum antibiotic agents which are effective against Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, including hospital-associated strains. The most effective antimicrobial agents were gentamicin topically or ceftriaxone systemically.