An analysis of central microbial keratitis with respect to etiology, recovery, complications and visual outcome was carried out in Gothenburg, Sweden, during a 3-year period. Gram positive bacteria were found in 22 out of 48 cases; Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis accounted for more than 50% of these Gram positive cases. Pseudomonas was the most common Gram negative bacterium. No case with etiology of fungus was found. The contact lens wearers showed mainly the same bacterial spectrum as non-wearers. The initial 'shotgun' therapy with cefuroxime and gentamycin seemed adequate for this bacterial spectrum. Seventy percent of the eyes healed within 3 weeks. Contact lens wear and trauma were found to be the two major predisposing factors in the cases with microbial keratitis. The lens wearers had shorter recovery times than the non wearers. The visual results after one month were good in 50% of the eyes, and another 12% attained useful vision.