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Article
July 1991

Immunohistochemistry of the Inflammatory Response in Propionibacterium acnes Endophthalmitis

Author Affiliations

From the Laboratory of Immunology, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1991;109(7):978-979. doi:10.1001/archopht.1991.01080070090041
Abstract

• Specimens were obtained from two patients with culture-proven Propionibacterium acnes endophthalmitis who had undergone vitrectomy. Wright's and Giemsa stains were performed using cytospin preparations of the dilute vitreous and revealed a predominance of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (80% to 90%). The remaining inflammatory cells in the vitreous were mostly macrophages (10% to 15%); very few lymphocytes were present (<5%). Immunohistochemical studies using monoclonal antibodies confirmed the paucity of lymphocytes. Most lymphocytes were CD4+ helper/inducer T cells. Almost no CD8+ suppressor/cytotoxic T lymphocytes or B lymphocytes were found. The inflammatory response in these two patients is most characteristic of acute inflammation and consistent with an underlying bacterial infection, despite a clinical picture of persistent, low-grade inflammation. Infection with P acnes has been shown to inhibit CD8+ T cells and may play a role in the persistent inflammation in cases of P acnes endophthalmitis.

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