Bacterial endophthalmitis: therapeutic challenges and host-pathogen interactions

Prog Retin Eye Res. 2007 Mar;26(2):189-203. doi: 10.1016/j.preteyeres.2006.12.001. Epub 2007 Jan 22.


Endophthalmitis is an infection of the posterior segment of the eye that frequently results in loss of vision. This devastating result occurs despite prompt and often aggressive therapeutic and surgical intervention. Over the past decade, research has centered on determining the bacterial and host factors involved in this potentially blinding disease. The initial focus on the bacterial factors responsible for intraocular virulence has recently expanded into analysis the inflammatory response to infection, including the molecular and cellular interactions between the pathogen and host. This review discusses the epidemiology and therapeutic challenges posed by endophthalmitis, as well as recent findings from the analysis of interactions between the host and pathogen. Based on these findings, a model for the pathogenesis of endophthalmitis is presented. A more comprehensive understanding of the molecular and cellular interactions taking place between pathogen and host during endophthalmitis will expose possible therapeutic targets designed to arrest the infection and prevent vision loss.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Bacteria / pathogenicity*
  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena*
  • Blindness / prevention & control
  • Endophthalmitis / drug therapy*
  • Endophthalmitis / microbiology*
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / drug therapy*
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / microbiology*
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Morbidity
  • Prognosis


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents