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Corneal ulcers : culture isolates and antibiotic susceptibility of microbial keratitis in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

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Aim: To determine the causative organisms for corneal ulcers in patients in KwaZulu-Natal, culture positivity rates and antibiotic sensitivity for the organisms cultured. Method: A retrospective chart review of laboratory results of patients presenting with a corneal ulcer to St Aidan’s Hospital and Addington Hospital in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal for the year 2012. Twenty eight records were received from the NHLS. The following information was extracted: age, sex, microbial isolate and antibiotic sensitivity and resistance. Results: All specimens were culture positive, 3 showed mixed growth. Of the 31 organisms cultured 71% were Gram positive, 25.8% were Gram negative and 3.2% were fungal. Streptococcus pneumoniae (59%) and Staphylococcus aureus (22.7%) were the common Gram positive organisms, Pseudomonas was the most common Gram negative organism. Gram positive organisms were 100% susceptible to Cephalothin and Ciprofloxacin. Gram negative organisms were 88% (p = 0.53) and 100% susceptible to Tobramycin and Ciprofloxacin respectively. Conclusion: This is the first study describing sensitivities for microbial keratitis in Durban, South Africa. Similar results have been published in Johannesburg. The current treatment protocol at the UKZN Department of Ophthalmology for corneal ulcers is appropriate.


M. Med. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 2014.


Cornea--Sensitivity., Cornea--Surgery., Keratitis., Cornea--Ulcers., Theses--Opthalmology.