[Normal flora of the human conjunctiva: examination of 135 persons of various ages]

Klin Monbl Augenheilkd. 1994 Dec;205(6):348-57. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1045542.
[Article in German]


Purpose of the study: Conjunctival flora is a prime suspect in searching for the cause of post-traumatic or post-operative ocular infections. Better information on its individual composition is therefore desirable.

Methods: 135 persons (66 women, 69 men) were examined during a period of 1 1/2 years. The youngest patient was 3 years old, the oldest 90. Both eyes of all patients were examined.

Results: Megasphaera elsdenii, Bacteroides ureolyticus, Bacteroides pneumosintes, Stomatococcus mucilaginosus, and group ANF Corynebacterium were isolated for the first time in the eye by this study. The latter was found so often that it can be ascribed the role of an aerobic indicator organism. Characteristic changes appear in the conjunctival flora at different stages of life. In particular, for example, the species spectrum of aerobic bacteria broadens with advancing age, and the population of aerobic bacteria increases in density.

Conclusions: With increasing age aerobic cocci are found less frequently in favor of the Corynebacteria. The proportion of anaerobic cocci increases among the anaerobes, while Propionibacteria are demonstrated less frequently. The significance of the organisms found in conjunctiva by this study for the first time is still unclear. No qualitative or quantitative sex-specific influence on the development of conjunctival flora was found.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Bacteriological Techniques
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Conjunctiva / microbiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Reference Values
  • Species Specificity