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December 1978

Prevention of Surface Bacterial Contamination of Donor Corneas

Arch Ophthalmol. 1978;96(12):2277-2280. doi:10.1001/archopht.1978.03910060573023

• A simple method has been developed to reduce contamination in postmortem donor human eyes in anticipation of corneal transplantation. In vivo investigation of albino rabbits demonstrates that vigorous saline solution irrigation is extremely effective in decreasing the surface bacterial counts of the postmortem eye. In vitro and in vivo studies show that Neosporin kills bacteria at room temperature and further show that a tenfold increase in the thimerosal concentration of the Neosporin will kill fungus. Postmortem eyes contaminated by pathogenic organisms can be effectively cleaned by a combination of saline solution irrigation and the new Neosporinthimerosal solution. No substantial damage of the donor tissue was noted by scanning electron microscopy. Human eyes cultured before this procedure were all contaminated, but after cleansing and immersion, no bacterial or fungal growth occurred.