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Year : 1989  |  Volume : 37  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 49-50

Diphtheritic conjunctivitis. A rare case report in Indian literature

Lecturer in Microbiology, Dr V.M.Medical College, Sholapur-413 003, India

Correspondence Address:
A N Boralkar
Lecturer in Microbiology, Dr V.M.Medical College, Sholapur-413 003
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 2807506

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How to cite this article:
Boralkar A N. Diphtheritic conjunctivitis. A rare case report in Indian literature. Indian J Ophthalmol 1989;37:49-50

How to cite this URL:
Boralkar A N. Diphtheritic conjunctivitis. A rare case report in Indian literature. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1989 [cited 2022 Sep 27];37:49-50. Available from: https://www.ijo.in/text.asp?1989/37/1/49/26099

A two and half year old female child was admitted to the out patient department of V.M. Medical College, Solapur, with complaints of rhinitis, intermittent fever (100- 103F) and bilat­eral conjunctival mucopurulent profuse discharge of four days duration. Clinical examination revealed-conjunctival conges­tion and chemosis associated with mild oedema of both the eye lids, while, cornea, iris, anterior chamber and pupil by torch light examination did not reveal any apparent abnormality.

Gram and Giemsa stained smears from the inflammed conjunctivae showed abundance of polymorphonuclear leucocytes and a few gram positive bacilli. Conjuctival swab and scrap­ing were inoculated on common culture media. The colony smears showed gram positive bacilli while Albert's staining revealed 3-4 mm long slender bacilli studded with character­istic metachromatic granules. Subculture on Loffler's serum slope showed moist, confluent growth while potassium tellu­rite agar revealed greyish black, 1-2 mm sized circular low convex colonies. The morphological features of the colony smears were identical with that of the primary smear.

Glucose, sucrose and starch were fermented by the strain when tested in Hiss serum water, while phosphatase and urease tests were negative when compared with the positive and negative controls. The in vivo animal pathogenicity tests confirmed that the present isolate belonged to the gravis variant of Corynebacterium diphtheriae

Though Corynebacterium xerosis has been isolated from healthy and inflammed conjunctiva [1],[2] isolation of the patho­genic species of Corynebacterium diphtheriae has been rarely. reported [3],[4],[5] The present case manifested with catarrhal conjunctivitis and since there was no clinical evidence of diphtheritic pathology at the regular sites, the patient was discharged after local treatment. Subsequent follow up was not possible. The case is being reported for its unusual presentation and to our knowledge, such a case has not been described in Indian literature.

  References Top

Sinha, B.N, and Das, M.S.: Bacterial and fungal flora of the conjuctival sacs in healthy and diseased eyes. Jour. of Ind. Med. Ass., 51 (5) : 217-222.1968.  Back to cited text no. 1
Prabhakar, H., Chitkara, N.L. and Prabhakar, B.R. : Mycotic and bacterial flora of the conjunctival sacs in healthy and diseased eyes.Ind, Jr. of Path. and Bact. 12: 158-161, 1969.  Back to cited text no. 2
Coachman, E.H. : Bilateral circumlimbal ulcers from malignant diphtheria. Am. J. Ophthalmol., 34: 1176, 1951.  Back to cited text no. 3
Brooks, G.E., Bennett, J.V. and Feldman, R.A. : Diphtheria in the United States, 1959-1970. J. Infect. Dis. 129 :172-178. 1974.  Back to cited text no. 4
Koopman, J.S, and Campbell, J.: The role of cutaneous diphtheria infections in a diphtheria epidemic. J. Infect. Dis. 131 : 239-244, 1975.  Back to cited text no. 5


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