16S rDNA PCR analysis of infectious keratitis: a case series.Acta Ophthalmol Scand. 2004 Aug; 82(4):463-7.AO
To discuss the value of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in the management of bacterial infectious keratitis.
Corneal scrapings of four patients with severe infectious keratitis were analysed by culture and PCR of 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA), followed by direct sequencing of the resulting amplicon. The medical history of the patients included laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK), penetrating keratoplasty (PKP) and trauma.
Using PCR we were able to identify a possible pathogen in all four cases, while bacterial cultures were either negative or did not correspond to the clinical picture. The identified bacteria were a Pseudomonas species, Abiotrophia defectiva, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia and Porphyromonas gingivalis.
Analysis of corneal scrapings by 16S rDNA PCR should be considered as a supplement to standard microbiological procedures. However, the results of this relatively new method have to be interpreted carefully.