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November 1959

The Antibacterial Property of Vitreous

Author Affiliations

Winnipeg, Man., Canada
Departments of Ophthalmology (Dr. Reed) and Bacteriology (Mr. Tushingham), University of Manitoba.

AMA Arch Ophthalmol. 1959;62(5):780-781. doi:10.1001/archopht.1959.04220050042006

Shafer1 first reported that if human vitreous is infected with organisms and stored at 4 C it tends to become sterile. We2 confirmed this observation with use of several pathogenic organisms. Shafer3,4 then showed that there was a diffusible antibacterial substance in human vitreous which will produce a zone of inhibited growth around pools of vitreous on blood agar plates growing Staphylococcus pyogenes var. aureus, Koch-Weeks bacillus, Proteus vulgaris, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This communication confirms Shafer's findings and shows that the diffusible substance could be lyzozyme, since it appears to be active against Micrococcus lysodeikticus.

Experiment  Nutrient agar culture plates were prepared. Ditches were cut out and filled with equal parts of pooled human vitreous and double-strength agar. Thin layers of melted single-strength agar were floated across the top of the ditch plate. Streak cultures of the following organisms were made across the ditch in the following