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Turicella otitidis: a rare agent causing microbial keratitis


A 10-year-old boy treated for alkali injury with multiple interventions presented with a perforated corneal ulcer with clinically suspected bacterial aetiology. Cornea scraping and tissue adhesive application were planned. During surgery, an eyelash was found embedded at the perforated site. Gram staining of corneal scraping revealed the presence of Gram-positive bacilli on the first day which later was identified as Turicella otitidis with culture followed by VITEK V.2.0 (Biomerieux) identification. The bacterium was found to be sensitive to amikacin, ciprofloxacin, cefazolin, gatifloxacin, moxifloxacin, ofloxacin and vancomycin antibiotics as per Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute guidelines. Coryneform bacteria is a rare cause of keratitis, and this is the first reported case of microbial keratitis caused by one of the rare corynebacterium species T. otitidis to the best of our knowledge. Literature search does not reveal any specific ocular features typical to this organism. This case supports the growing evidence for pathogenicity of T. otitidis in ocular samples. This study demonstrates the utility of VITEK for the identification of rare pathogen and may facilitate the use of certain antibiotics in the treatment regimen of T. otitidis infections.

  • ophthalmology
  • anterior chamber

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