To study the association between cultures of contact lens and corneal scraping in contact lens–related microbial keratitis.
A retrospective analysis of the culture results of corneal scrapings and contact lenses of patients with contact lens–related microbial keratitis who were initially seen at Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, between January 1, 2001, and December 31, 2004, was conducted.
Fifty eye specimens of 49 patients were included in the study. Corneal scrapings and contact lenses were culture positive in 17 eyes (34%) and in 35 eyes (70%), respectively. In 13 eyes, corneal scrapings and contact lenses yielded identical organisms. Serratia marcescens was the most common organism isolated from the corneal scrapings and from the contact lenses.
Contact lens culture may sometimes give a clue to the organism involved in cases of microbial keratitis in which the corneal scraping is culture negative and may help in choosing the appropriate antimicrobial therapy.