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April 1987

Nocardia asteroides as a Cause of Corneal Ulcer

Author Affiliations

Madurai, India

Arch Ophthalmol. 1987;105(4):464. doi:10.1001/archopht.1987.01060040034016

To the Editor.  —Numerous microorganisms have been found to cause corneal ulceration. Often, conventional "nonpathogenic" organisms can become virulent in the presence of optimal conditions in the host. There are increasing reports of the involvement of saprophytes such as atypical mycobacteria, Acanthamoeba, and so on, in corneal ulcers. However, reports of corneal ulceration due to Nocardia species are infrequent,1 and species belonging to the order Actinomycetales are often forgotten as possible causative agents. We report four patients with corneal ulcers caused by Nocardia asteroides in whom the diagnosis was made on the basis of microbiologic investigations and in whom prompt institution of specific therapy led to rapid and complete resolution.

Report of Cases.  —Three men and one woman, 25 to 55 years old, presented with redness, pain, and decreased visual acuity in the affected eye. All patients had been treated earlier with various antibiotics for one to four weeks

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