Pathogenesis and therapy of Pseudomonas aeruginosa keratitis

Eye
J K Dart, D V Seal

Abstract

Considerable progress has been made recently in understanding the pathogenesis of pseudomonas keratitis including its adhesion, invasion and the role of the glycocalyx. Adhesion to epithelial cells has been shown in vitro to depend on pili but their relationship to the glycocalyx biofilm has yet to be explored. The actions of its toxins and proteases have been established by studying the effects of deletion mutants. However, in animal models pseudomonads have been unable to cause an invasive infection in the presence of an intact corneal epithelium and have required associated trauma. Why early necrosis of the cornea can occur in an immunocompetent individual is still not clear but may reflect the delayed access of polymorphonuclear cells (PMNs) in an avascular tissue. Whether the corneal necrosis that later occurs is then due to the PMNs or pseudomonas toxins is not established. Topical fortified gentamicin therapy remains the treatment of choice for early infection. The use of medical and surgical adjunctive therapy is often needed to cope with the complications of advanced disease and has been reviewed.

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