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March 1938


Arch Ophthalmol. 1938;19(3):406-408. doi:10.1001/archopht.1938.00850150090008

Among the rare if not the rarest of deep infections of the eyeball is that caused by Bacillus welchii. This organism is also responsible for highly virulent and extremely grave infections in other parts of the body, which result in a fatal issue in a high percentage of cases. During the World War the mortality from such infections was extremely high, and even now in civil life the infection causes the surgeon much concern, even if the diagnosis is made early and intelligent care is administered.

There have been no deaths reported to date in cases of infection of the eye with B. welchii, even though enucleation has been done instead of evisceration. In such cases the clinical course is not severe, and complete recovery with negative cultures can be expected in two weeks after removal of the eye or its contents.

Twelve cases have been reported in the literature