Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infectious keratitis following refractive surgery

Am J Ophthalmol. 2007 Apr;143(4):629-34. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2006.12.029. Epub 2007 Feb 23.


Purpose: To elucidate risk factors, clinical course, visual outcomes, and treatment of culture-proven methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infectious keratitis following refractive surgery.

Design: Interventional case series.

Methods: Multicenter chart review of 13 cases of MRSA keratitis following refractive surgery and literature review.

Results: Thirteen eyes of 12 patients, nine of whom were either healthcare workers or exposed to a hospital surgical setting, developed MRSA keratitis following refractive surgery. All patients presented with a decrease in visual acuity and complaints of pain or irritation in the affected eye. Common signs on slit-lamp biomicroscopy were corneal epithelial defects, focal infiltrates with surrounding edema, conjunctival injection, purulent discharge, and hypopyon. All patients were diagnosed with infectious keratitis on presentation and treated with two antibiotics. All eyes were culture-positive for MRSA.

Conclusions: According to a computerized MEDLINE literature search, this is the first case series of MRSA infectious keratitis following refractive surgery, the first reports of MRSA keratitis after refractive surgery in patients with no known exposure to a healthcare facility, the first report of MRSA keratitis after a laser in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) enhancement, and the first reports of MRSA keratitis after prophylaxis with fourth-generation fluoroquinolones. MRSA keratitis is a serious and increasing complication following refractive surgery. Patients with exposure to a healthcare environment should be considered at additional risk for developing MRSA keratitis. However, in addition, surgeons should now be vigilant for community-acquired MRSA. Prompt identification with culturing and appropriate treatment of MRSA keratitis after refractive surgery is important to improve visual rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Corneal Ulcer / diagnosis
  • Corneal Ulcer / drug therapy
  • Corneal Ulcer / microbiology*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / diagnosis
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / drug therapy
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Keratomileusis, Laser In Situ
  • Lasers, Excimer
  • Male
  • Methicillin / pharmacology
  • Methicillin Resistance*
  • Middle Aged
  • Ofloxacin / therapeutic use
  • Photorefractive Keratectomy
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Refractive Surgical Procedures
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Staphylococcal Infections / diagnosis
  • Staphylococcal Infections / drug therapy
  • Staphylococcal Infections / microbiology*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects
  • Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification*
  • Surgical Flaps / microbiology
  • Vancomycin / therapeutic use


  • Vancomycin
  • Ofloxacin
  • Methicillin