Medicine & Healthcare
Tuft, S. and Burton, M. (2013) Microbial Keratitis. Royal College of Ophthakmologists, London.
ABSTRACT: Background: Microbial keratitis often results in poor visual outcome despite treatment. A revision of treatment protocol based on local evidence may be required in order to obtain better treatment outcome. Objectives: To determine the predisposing factors and predominant microbiological diagnosis of corneal ulcers seen at the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki (FETHA), Ebonyi State, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: This is a preliminary report of an on-going longitudinal descriptive study of all consenting corneal ulcer patients managed at the FETHA eye clinic over a 4-month period. Information obtained were socio-demographic data, presenting complaints, duration of symptoms prior to presentation, history of preceding trauma, medications used before presentation, presenting and final visual acuity and microbiological diagnosis. Results: A diagnosis of corneal ulcer was made in 8 out of the 852 outpatients seen over the study period giving a hospital prevalence rate of 0.59%. Five patients (62.50%) were males, five (62.50%) were farmers and 4 patients (50%) were above 60 years of age. The microbial diagnoses were bacterial keratitis 37.5% (Staphylococcus aureus), fungal keratitis 25% (Fusarium spp. and aspergillus) and acanthamoeba (25%). None of the patients ever used contact lenses. There was a history of eye trauma in 50% of the patients. All the eyes presented blind after a period of failed attempts to treat by self or quacks. Mean duration before presentation was two weeks. Treatment improved the visual acuity in 37.5% of patients. Conclusion: Bacteria, fungi and acanthamoeba organisms were the microbiological isolates from the scrapings of corneal ulcer patients seen in the eye clinic of FETHA; with bacterial organisms being the most common. Farming activities, preceding eye trauma, delayed presentation, self-medication and use of traditional eye medications (TEM) were common findings among the patients. A future larger study is recommended to confirm the findings of this study. Eye health education campaigns should be directed at farmers to encourage early presentation to hospitals.