Study of bacterial conjunctivitis in neonates with special reference to Chlamydia trachomatis

Abstract number: P1953

Tabatabaei S., Afjee A., Karimi A., Fallah F., Tahami Zanjani N.

Background: Conjunctivitis is the most common eye disease of newborns. Conjunctivitis during the neonatal period is usually acquired. The most common bacterial infections can cause serious eye damage are gonorrhoea (Neisseria gonorrhoeae) and Chlamydia (Chlamydia trachomatis), which can be passed from mother to child during birth. The incidence of gonococcal ophthalmia neonatorum decreased in industrialised countries secondary to widespread use of silver nitrate prophylaxis and prenatal screening and treatment of maternal gonorrhoea. In comparison, chlamydia trachomatis is the most common organism causing ophthalmia neonatorum in the USA.

This study is to identify the prevalence of the causative agents of ophthalmia neonatorom, chiefly Chlamydia trachomatis in two hospitals (mofid & mahdieh) on 2007–2008.

Methods and Materials: We will study 114 neonates with conjunctivitis in first 4 weeks of life. We obtain two swab specimens containing epithelial cells of conjunctiva. Laboratory diagnosis was based on bacterial culture and Gram staining. The isolated bacteria were identified using standard procedures. For identifying Chlamydia trachomatis we will use cell culture (gold standard) and Giemsa staining.

Results: Of 114 neonates with positive eye swab or conjunctival scraping cultures, Chlamydia trachomatis was the second most common (n = 17, 14.9%) cause of acute neonatal conjunctivitis after coagulase-negative staphylococci (n = 86, 51%). Bacterial cultures were negative in 23.1% of neonates despite clinical signs of conjunctivitis. The median age of positive Chlamydia trachomatis neonates was day 9 of life (range, day 1–30).

Conclusion: Based on previous studies, prevalence of Chlamydia trachomatis in neonates was 6–21%. This prevalence is 14.9% in our study. Chlamydia trachomatis was the second most common causative organism in acute neonatal conjunctivitis. Gram Positive Cocci were the most common cause of bacterial infections. Therefore we recommend doing giemsa staining for the characteristic intracellular plasmic inclusions and tissue culture techniques for the organism from a conjunctival swab.

Session Details

Date: 16/05/2009
Time: 00:00-00:00
Session name: 19th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Location: Helsinki, Finland, 16 - 19 May 2009
Presentation type:
Back to top