In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2024 Jan.


Keratitis is the inflammation of the cornea and is characterized by corneal edema, infiltration of inflammatory cells, and ciliary congestion. It is associated with both infectious and noninfectious diseases, which may be systemic or localized to the ocular surface. Amongst the types of keratitis discussed above, "microbial keratitis" accounts for the majority and is primarily a cause of major concern in developing countries. However, noninfectious keratitis can not be looked down upon, especially in developed nations.

Our first line of defense is strong enough to dispel most of the infection, causing insults; however, there exist some organisms that can evade this line and cause infection. The corneal epithelium is one such barrier. Most of the organisms cannot penetrate intact epithelium, so they cannot incite keratitis in the absence of cellular injury. Neisseria meningitides, N. gonorrhea, Corynebacterium diphtheria, Haemophilus influenzae, and Listeria species are virulent organisms with the potential to penetrate even intact epithelium and cause keratitis. This article discusses the etiology and available current and future management options for different types of keratitis.

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