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  • Pediatric Ophth/Strabismus, Retina/Vitreous

    A weekly roundup of ophthalmic news from around the web.

    A link between limited English proficiency and diabetic retinopathy. In patients undergoing cataract surgery, those with limited English proficiency (LEP) were more likely to have type 2 diabetes and diabetic retinopathy (DR) than those with full English proficiency, according to a retrospective analysis of the University of Colorado’s Cataract Surgery Outcomes Database. Patients with LEP were also more likely to be female, >70 years old, of Hispanic or Asian ethnicity, and to have worse BCVA at baseline. In the subgroup of Hispanic patients, those with LEP had significantly higher rates of type 2 diabetes, DR, and macular edema; these significant differences were not seen in the subgroup of Asian patients. The authors suggest that the findings among the Hispanic patients may be related to demographic and socioeconomic factors such as poorer glycemic control and lack of access to ophthalmologic screening and treatment, but note that “future studies are needed to better outline the root causes of these disparities.” Translational Vision Science & Technology

    Could the presence of certain microbes be predictive of severe ROP? Polish investigators reviewed results of microbial smears taken from the throats, bronchi, ears, and anuses of 114 prematurely born neonates, 51 of whom had severe retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), and found that 47% of the cultures taken from the ROP group were positive for bacterial pathogens, compared with 23% of the cultures taken from the group without ROP (controls). Klebsiella pneumoniae and the coagulase-negative Staphylococci family were identified as the pathogens most likely to influence development of severe ROP. Additionally, 10% of the ROP group and 2% of the control group had Candida albicans–related fungal infections. The research team plans to conduct additional studies on larger groups of neonates with severe ROP. Journal of Clinical Medicine

    NEI scientist wins Knights Templar Eye Foundation award for albinism research. Dr. Ruchi Sharma of the Ocular and Stem Cell Translational Section of the National Eye Institute (NEI) has received a $90,000 award from the Knights Templar Eye Foundation (KTEF) for research into oculocutaneous albinism (OCA), a condition that reduces eye pigmentation and affects development of the fovea. The funding will help her research team investigate the mechanism behind the foveal hypoplasia seen in albinism. Dr. Sharma said “Our ultimate goal is to find potential molecular targets—cells and tissues—that could be manipulated to foster healthy foveal development, offering a glimmer of hope for vision enhancement in young OCA patients. We are extremely happy that KTEF considered our lab’s work worthy of this award.” National Eye Institute