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J P Guzek, D J Cline, P K Row, I F Wessels, S Beeve, S Ispirescu, R M Aprecio, J D Kettering, D L Gano, G M Nelson; Rabbit Streptococcus pneumoniae keratitis model and topical therapy.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1998;39(11):2012-2017.
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PURPOSE: To develop a model for experimental Streptococcus pneumoniae keratitis and to evaluate the chemotherapeutic efficacy of 12 common topical antibiotics in vivo. METHODS: Five-hundred (CFUs of log-phase S. pneumoniae were injected into the central corneal stroma of 36 eyes of 18 rabbits. After 0, 4, 8, 16, 24, and 48 hours, the in vivo growth was assayed as the CFU per cornea. Epithelial removal (to promote antibiotic entry and mimic human keratitis) was evaluated. Disc or tube dilution verification of the sensitivity or resistance of three S. pneumoniae strains was performed: a penicillin sensitive ("S"), an intermediate sensitive ("I"), and a resistant ("R") strain. Keratitis was established with S. pneumoniae "S" in 65 eyes, S. pneumoniae "I" in 107 eyes, and S. pneumoniae "R" in 78 eyes. Sixteen hours later, control corneas were harvested and the epithelium removed from treatment corneas. Every half hour saline, penicillin, gentamicin, bacitracin, ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, erythromycin, vancomycin, ceftriaxone, cefotaxime, or chloramphenicol was applied for 5 hours. One hour later CFUs/cornea were assayed. RESULTS: After 24 hours, S. pneumoniae "S" and "I" had proliferated to 9.18+/-6.65 x 10(6) CFUs and 9.26+/-6.90 x 10(6) CFUs. Epithelial removal at 16 hours was not significant. The in vitro antibiotic sensitivity was as expected. However, in vivo, penicillin, gentamicin, or cefazolin sterilized S. pneumoniae "S." S. pneumoniae "R" responded best to fortified gentamicin with or without vancomycin; all others antibiotics were significantly less effective (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: A small intracorneal S. pneumoniae inoculum in rabbit corneas grew and was maintained for 24 hours (with epithelial removal) to provide a model for testing antibiotic sensitivity in vivo. Topical penicillin is best for treating keratitis from penicillin-sensitive S. pneumoniae, whereas topical gentamicin or a combination of gentamicin and vancomycin was most effective against penicillin-resistant S. pneumoniae.
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