Author(s):Girgis DO, Karp CL, Miller D. Ocular infections caused by non-tuberculous mycobacteria: update on epidemiology and management. Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2012 Jul;40(5):467-75. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-9071.2011.02679.x. Epub 2011 Nov 4. PMID 21902780
BACKGROUND To provide an update on the frequency, distribution, risk factors and in vitro susceptibility of ocular infections caused by non-tuberculous mycobacteria.
DESIGN Retrospective study of university clinic patients.
PARTICIPANTS One hundred thirty-nine patients with culture confirmed non-tuberculous mycobacteria infections seen at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute from January 1980 to July 2007.
METHODS Chart review of data collected included patients’ demographics, risk factors, microbiological profiles and clinical outcomes.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Frequency, distribution, risk factors and in vitro susceptibility of ocular infections caused by non-tuberculous mycobacteria.
RESULTS A total of 183 non-tuberculous mycobacteria isolates from 142 eyes were identified, with a fourfold increase in the number of eyes infected with non-tuberculous mycobacteria from 1980-1989 (13.4%) to 2000-2007 (56.3%). Eighty-three percent of non-tuberculous mycobacteria isolates were identified as M. abscessus/chelonae. The majority (91%) of isolates were recovered within 10 days. Common diagnoses included keratitis (36.6%), scleral buckle infections (14.8%) and socket/implant infections (14.8%). Identifiable risk factors were presence of biomaterials (63.1%), ocular surgery (24.1%) and steroid exposure (77%). The median time from diagnosis of culture positive non-tuberculous mycobacteria infection to resolution was 13 to 24 weeks. Combination therapy was used to treat 80% of infected eyes. In vitro susceptibility of non-tuberculous mycobacteria isolates were: amikacin, 81%; clarithromycin, 93%; and moxifloxacin, 21%.
CONCLUSIONS The incidence of ocular infections caused by non-tuberculous mycobacteria has increased within the last 8 years, with a high number of biomaterial associated infections among this group. Clinical diagnosis and microbiological confirmation of non-tuberculous mycobacteria infections remains challenging. Patient outcomes may be improved by early diagnosis, appropriate therapy and removal of biomaterials.