Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections of the eye and orbit (an American ophthalmological society thesis)

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140 Scopus citations


Purpose: To ascertain if methicillin-resistant Staphyloccocus aureus (MRSA) ophthalmic infections are increasing. Methods: A retrospective review of all patients with a culture positive for MRSA in the Parkland Health and Hospital System, the urban public healthcare system for Dallas County, Texas, for the years 2000 through 2004 was performed. Patients with ocular, orbital, and ocular adnexal infection were identified, and isolates were categorized as nosocomial or community-acquired (CA). Results: A total of 3,640 patients with a culture positive for MRSA were identified, with 1,088 patients (30%) considered to have acquired the isolate via nosocomial transmission and 2,552 patients (70%) considered to have CA-MRSA. Forty-nine patients (1.3%) had ophthalmic MRSA involvement. For both ophthalmic and nonophthalmic cases, the number of CA-MRSA patients increased each year, whereas the numbers of nosocomial patients remained fairly constant. Patients with ophthalmic MRSA tended to be younger than other MRSA patients (P = .023). The most common manifestation of ophthalmic MRSA infection was preseptal cellulitis and/or lid abscess followed by conjunctivitis, but sight-threatening infections, including corneal ulcers, endophthalmitis, orbital cellulitis, and blebitis, also occurred. Empirical antibiotic coverage was initially prescribed in 48 (98%) of ophthalmic cases and did not adequately cover for the MRSA isolate in 24 (50%). Conclusions: CA-MRSA is becoming increasingly prevalent, and ophthalmologists will see more ophthalmic MRSA infections. Although ophthalmic CA-MRSA commonly presents as preseptal lid infection and conjunctivitis, sight-threatening infections also occur. Ophthalmologists must identify MRSA patients, adjust empirical treatment regimens where MRSA is endemic, and take steps to control emergence of resistant organisms in both inpatient and outpatient practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-345
Number of pages24
JournalTransactions of the American Ophthalmological Society
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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