The microbial etiology of infectious corneal ulceration in Sierra Leone has been investigated. Patients either presenting to district health centers or encountered on rural surveillance expeditions with suspected infectious ulcerative keratitis were recruited into the study. Infectious corneal ulceration was defined as clinical evidence of corneal infection with epithelial defect with or without hypopyon. Cultures were obtained in a standard fashion and subsequent microbial analysis performed on all specimens. Seventy-three (73) cases of suspected infectious ulcerative keratitis were obtained between January 2005 and January 2006. The most commonly isolated organisms from microbial cultures of infected eyes were Gram-negative bacteria (45.2%), Gram-positive bacteria (37.0%), and fungal species (35.6%). Mixed bacterial and fungal organisms were isolated from ten eyes (13.7%) and no organisms were isolated from four eyes (5.5%). There is a high incidence of Gram-negative and fungal ulcerative keratitis in the population studied in Sierra Leone. Empirical therapy for corneal ulceration in this region should be aimed towards treatment of bacterial, fungal, and mixed infections.
Sierra LeoneCorneaInfectious ulcerationMicrobiology