Objective: To document changes in antibiotic resistance of organisms in cases of equine bacterial ulcerative keratitis over a 10-year time period.
Design: A retrospective study.
Participants: Medical records of equine patients with bacterial ulcerative keratitis seen at the University of Florida's VMTH for the years 1991-2000 were reviewed.
Materials and methods: All cases of equine bacterial ulcerative keratitis for the above mentioned years were examined. Bacterial isolates were identified and subjected to Kirby-Bauer disc diffusion method sensitivity tests. Antibiotics used in the sensitivity tests included bacitracin, ampicillin, gentamicin, chloramphenicol, polymyxin B, trimethoprim-sulfa, neomycin, kanamycin, carbenicillin, tobramycin and enrofloxacin.
Results: A total of 65 bacterial isolates were subjected to sensitivity testing. Of these isolates, Pseudomonas aeruginosa accounted for 14 of the bacterial isolates (22%), Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus accounted for 13 of the bacterial isolates (20%), and Staphylococcus aureus accounted for four of the isolates (6%). A statistically significant increase in resistance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates to the antibiotics gentamicin and tobramycin was found between the isolates from 1992 to 1998 and those from 1999 to 2000. An increase in resistance of Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus to gentamicin was found between the isolates from 1993 to 1997 and those from 1998 to 2000.
Conclusions: Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa were the most common organisms isolated from cases of equine bacterial keratitis referred to the University of Florida's VMTH for the years 1991-2000. There appears to be an increase in resistance of Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus to gentamicin over the past 10 years. In addition, there is a significant increase in resistance of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to both gentamicin and tobramycin over the same time period.