• Written By: Liliana Wermer, MD, PhD
    Cataract/Anterior Segment

    This prospective study found that antibiotic use within 30 days of cataract surgery was a significant risk factor for ocular colonization by an oxacillin-resistant organism.

    The authors analyzed conjunctival cultures obtained on the day of surgery from 183 eyes. Patients answered a questionnaire about risk factors that could lead to having oxacillin-resistant Staphylococcus organisms in their eyes.

    Of the 183 eyes cultured, 128 (70%) tested positive for Staphylococcus organisms, of which 70 (54.7%) were oxacillin-resistant.

    Only recent antibiotic use was significantly associated with the presence of oxacillin-resistant organisms (odds ratio, 8.2). Increasing age and exposure to healthcare or other institutional settings were suggestive but not statistically significant risk factors.

    This study is limited by the fact that many of the risk factors were self-reported, including history of antibiotic use; for example, they were only able to obtain details of antibiotic use for 6 of the 24 patients who reported using them.

    They conclude that although no epidemic of clinical failure leading to postsurgical infections has occurred, they recommend that patients, physicians and the pharmaceutical industry devote more resources to averting this possibility.