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First reported case of corneal infection caused by Atopobium vaginae
  1. Nimish Kumar Singh1,
  2. Srikant Sahu1,
  3. Smruti Rekha Priyadarshini1 and
  4. Himanshu Sekhara Behera2
  1. 1Cornea and Anterior Segment, LV Prasad Eye Institute Bhubaneswar Campus, Bhubaneswar, India
  2. 2Microbiology services, LV Prasad Eye Institute Bhubaneswar Campus, Bhubaneswar, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Himanshu Sekhara Behera; himansubt{at}


A man in his 20s, with irritation, pain and photophobia in the left eye, was clinically diagnosed with herpes simplex virus nummular keratitis at our institute and advised topical antivirals and corticosteroids, causing resolution of active infiltrates. The infection recurred after 7 months and the patient did not respond to the previous regimen, so corneal scraping was sent for microbiological evaluation. Gram-positive bacilli grew on culture, which were identified as Atopobium vaginae using VITEK 2 Compact system (bioMérieux, Marcy l'Etoile, France). Gatifloxacin eye drops were added based on antibiotic sensitivity patterns. Infiltrates resolved completely, leaving behind residual scars without any recurrences. This is the first reported case of corneal infection caused by A. vaginae, a bacterium known to reside in the urogenital tract. It caused secondary corneal infection in a case of recurrent herpes simplex keratitis. Species identification systems like VITEK 2 Compact can help identify such rare bacteria with great accuracy.

  • Ophthalmology
  • Anterior chamber

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  • Contributors NKS compiled the data and wrote the manuscript. SS and SRP carried out the clinical evaluation and treatment of the patient at various visits. HSB carried out the microbiological evaluation, conceived the idea and isolated this novel bacterium from the corneal scraping.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.