Clinical & experimental optometry

Review of resistance of ocular isolates of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and staphylococci from keratitis to ciprofloxacin, gentamicin and cephalosporins.

PMID 21083760


Microbial keratitis is a rare disease but most commonly caused by bacterial infection. Two of the most common bacteria to cause microbial keratitis are Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. Antibiotic therapy to treat keratitis caused by these bacteria is either monotherapy with a fluoroquinolone or combination therapy with fortified gentamicin. Literature searches were made in Medline and Pubmed using the search terms [Pseudomonas] or [Staphylococcus] and [fluoroquinolone] or [cephalosporin] or [gentamicin] and [keratitis] or [cornea]. Rates of resistance to ciprofloxacin, gentamicin or cephalosporins were then compared for isolates from different geographic regions. There are low resistance rates of P. aeruginosa and S. aureus to ciprofloxacin in isolates from Australia. Isolates from the Indian subcontinent are more commonly resistant to ciprofloxacin, with resistance rates of greater than 20 per cent being reported. Data from USA and Europe indicate that if the S. aureus is a methicillin resistant strain, then resistance to ciprofloxacin increases, often to greater than 80 per cent of isolates. Resistance to gentamicin and cephalosporins is also generally low in isolates from Australia. Again resistance is increased in isolates from the Indian subcontinent, as well as from South America. In Australia, the major ocular pathogens are generally sensitive to the most commonly used antibiotics to treat microbial keratitis. The prescription of fluoroquinolones, aminoglycosides and cephalosporins is generally reserved for treatment of significant or sight-threatening conditions such as microbial keratitis. This approach is not likely to contribute to an increase in resistance rates.