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, 31 (9), 693-702

Virulence Factor Profiles and Antimicrobial Susceptibilities of Ocular Bacillus Isolates

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Virulence Factor Profiles and Antimicrobial Susceptibilities of Ocular Bacillus Isolates

Michelle C Callegan et al. Curr Eye Res.

Abstract

Bacillus causes one of the most rapidly blinding intraocular infections: endophthalmitis. In this study, Bacillus spp. were isolated from ocular infection cases, taxonomically characterized by riboprint analysis, and screened for the presence of putative virulence factors. The ability of these isolates to kill retinal and corneal cells was examined, as were antibiotic susceptibility profiles. The majority of isolates belonged to the B. cereus taxonomic group of microorganisms and were identified as B. cereus (53%) or B. thuringiensis (26%). Toxins were identified in most B. thuringiensis and B. cereus isolates. Most B. cereus and B. thuringiensis killed corneal and retinal cells within 6 h. All isolates were susceptible to most antibiotics tested, with quinolones and vancomycin being the most potent. These findings represent the first report of B. thuringiensis as an important ocular pathogen, demonstrates the potential ocular toxicity of B. cereus and B. thuringiensis isolates, and identifies antibiotics whose efficacy against Bacillus were superior to those used clinically.

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