Antimicrobial effect of ciprofloxacin, povidone-iodine, and gentamicin in the decontamination of human donor globes

Cornea. 1998 Jan;17(1):57-61. doi: 10.1097/00003226-199801000-00008.


Purpose: Clinical research addressing the issue of donor globe decontamination is yet to establish convincing data for the optimal choice of an antimicrobial agent.

Methods: In a donor-globe decontamination study, the antimicrobial effectiveness of a fluoroquinolone antibiotic (ciprofloxacin, 0.3%) was evaluated for the first time and compared with povidone-iodine (P-I, 5%) and gentamicin (0.3%).

Results: Ciprofloxacin and gentamicin were found to be less effective than P-I (p < 0.05) in converting culture-positive donor globes to culture negative. In eliminating coagulase-negative staphylococci that predominated the bacterial spectrum, again P-I scored better than ciprofloxacin (p = 0.003) and gentamicin (p = 0.006). Overall, P-I performed better than the other two in the 3-min decontamination procedure. Decontamination was carried out with the same agent for 15 min to assess the effect of duration of decontamination on the antimicrobial activity of P-I. With time, there was no significant increase in the antimicrobial efficacy of the agent except for Corynebacterium species.

Conclusion: P-I continues to be the preferred agent for decontaminating donor globes. Whereas a contact of 3-min duration between P-I and donor globe remains satisfactory in decontamination procedures, corneal tolerance of this procedure needs investigation.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase I
  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Ciprofloxacin / pharmacology*
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Disinfection / methods*
  • Eye / drug effects*
  • Eye / microbiology
  • Eye Banks
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / microbiology
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / prevention & control
  • Gentamicins / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Povidone-Iodine / pharmacology*
  • Tissue Donors


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Gentamicins
  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Ciprofloxacin
  • Povidone-Iodine