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U Pleyer, B J Mondino, S A Adamu, H Pitchekian-Halabi, R E Engstrom, B J Glasgow; Immune response to Staphylococcus epidermidis-induced endophthalmitis in a rabbit model.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1992;33(9):2650-2663.
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Although Staphylococcus epidermidis is the most common cause of postoperative pseudophakic endophthalmitis, little is known about the immune response to S. epidermidis-induced endophthalmitis. Using a rabbit model, the immune response to an intravitreal injection of 7000 S. epidermidis (group 1) or 30,000 S. epidermidis (group 2) organisms was investigated. Clinical evaluations showed that rabbits in group 2 had a more severe inflammatory reaction in the conjunctiva, cornea, iris, and vitreous than those in group 1. The inflammatory reaction in group 1 largely resolved by day 30; group 2 continued to show a severe inflammatory response. Histopathologic findings correlated with clinical findings, with rabbits in group 2 showing a more severe inflammatory reaction in both the anterior and posterior segments of the globe. Positive vitreous cultures for S. epidermidis were present in rabbits in group 1 on days 3, 7, 10, 14, and 21 but not thereafter. However, group 2 had higher vitreous colony counts at days 3, 7, and 14 and negative vitreous cultures thereafter. Neither group showed delayed hypersensitivity to S. epidermidis antigens (evaluated by skin tests). Serum immunoglobulin (Ig) G antibody levels to phenol-inactivated S. epidermidis and glycerol teichoic acid (GTA) increased progressively, reached a peak at days 10-14, and then declined in both groups. Serum IgA antibody levels to these antigens were not detected. Group 2 had a more prolonged IgG antibody response in vitreous and aqueous than group 1. Tear fluid showed the weakest IgG and IgA antibody response to S. epidermidis and GTA. S. epidermidis-induced endophthalmitis was associated with a humoral but not a delayed hypersensitivity response to this organism.
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