Infectious Disease

Singh RB, Liu L, Yung A, Anchouche S, Mittal SK, Blanco T, Dohlman TH, Yin J, Dana R. Ocular redness - II: Progress in development of therapeutics for the management of conjunctival hyperemia. Ocul Surf 2021;21:66-77.Abstract
Conjunctival hyperemia is one of the most common causes for visits to primary care physicians, optometrists, ophthalmologists, and emergency rooms. Despite its high incidence, the treatment options for patients with conjunctival hyperemia are restricted to over-the-counter drugs that provide symptomatic relief due to short duration of action, tachyphylaxis and rebound redness. As our understanding of the immunopathological pathways causing conjunctival hyperemia expands, newer therapeutic targets are being discovered. These insights have also contributed to the development of animal models for mimicking the pathogenic changes in microvasculature causing hyperemia. Furthermore, this progress has catalyzed the development of novel therapeutics that provide efficacious, long-term relief from conjunctival hyperemia with minimal adverse effects.
Keffeler EC, Iyer VS, Parthasarathy S, Ramsey MM, Gorman MJ, Barke TL, Varahan S, Olson S, Gilmore MS, Abdullahi ZH, Hancock EN, Hancock LE. Influence of the Alternative Sigma Factor RpoN on Global Gene Expression and Carbon Catabolism in Enterococcus faecalis V583. mBio 2021;12(3)Abstract
The alternative sigma factor σ54 has been shown to regulate the expression of a wide array of virulence-associated genes, as well as central metabolism, in bacterial pathogens. In Gram-positive organisms, the σ54 is commonly associated with carbon metabolism. In this study, we show that the Enterococcus faecalis alternative sigma factor σ54 (RpoN) and its cognate enhancer binding protein MptR are essential for mannose utilization and are primary contributors to glucose uptake through the Mpt phosphotransferase system. To gain further insight into how RpoN contributes to global transcriptional changes, we performed microarray transcriptional analysis of strain V583 and an isogenic rpoN mutant grown in a chemically defined medium with glucose as the sole carbon source. Transcripts of 340 genes were differentially affected in the rpoN mutant; the predicted functions of these genes mainly related to nutrient acquisition. These differentially expressed genes included those with predicted catabolite-responsive element (cre) sites, consistent with loss of repression by the major carbon catabolite repressor CcpA. To determine if the inability to efficiently metabolize glucose/mannose affected infection outcome, we utilized two distinct infection models. We found that the rpoN mutant is significantly attenuated in both rabbit endocarditis and murine catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI). Here, we examined a ccpA mutant in the CAUTI model and showed that the absence of carbon catabolite control also significantly attenuates bacterial tissue burden in this model. Our data highlight the contribution of central carbon metabolism to growth of E. faecalis at various sites of infection.IMPORTANCE Hospital-acquired infections account for 2 billion dollars annually in increased health care expenses and cause more than 100,000 deaths in the United States alone. Enterococci are the second leading cause of hospital-acquired infections. They form biofilms at surgical sites and are often associated with infections of the urinary tract following catheterization. Nutrient uptake and growth are key factors that influence their ability to cause disease. Our research identified a large set of genes that illuminate nutrient uptake pathways in enterococci. Perturbation of the metabolic circuit reduces virulence in a rabbit endocarditis model, as well as in catheter-associated urinary tract infection in mice. Targeting metabolic pathways that are important in infection may lead to new treatments against multidrug-resistant enterococcal infections.
Haque M, Lei F, Xiong X, Ren Y, Peng H-Y, Wang L, Kumar A, Das JK, Song J. Stem Cell-Derived Viral Antigen-Specific T Cells Suppress HIV Replication and PD-1 Expression on CD4+ T Cells. Viruses 2021;13(5)Abstract
The viral antigen (Ag)-specific CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) derived from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), i.e., PSC-CTLs, have the ability to suppress the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. After adoptive transfer, PSC-CTLs can infiltrate into the local tissues to suppress HIV replication. Nevertheless, the mechanisms by which the viral Ag-specific PSC-CTLs elicit the antiviral response remain to be fully elucidated. In this study, we generated the functional HIV-1 Gag epitope SL9-specific CTLs from the induced PSC (iPSCs), i.e., iPSC-CTLs, and investigated the suppression of SL9-specific iPSC-CTLs on viral replication and the protection of CD4+ T cells. A chimeric HIV-1, i.e., EcoHIV, was used to produce HIV replication in mice. We show that adoptive transfer of SL9-specific iPSC-CTLs greatly suppressed EcoHIV replication in the peritoneal macrophages and spleen in the animal model. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the adoptive transfer significantly reduced expression of PD-1 on CD4+ T cells in the spleen and generated persistent anti-HIV memory T cells. These results indicate that stem cell-derived viral Ag-specific CTLs can robustly accumulate in the local tissues to suppress HIV replication and prevent CD4+ T cell exhaustion through reduction of PD-1 expression.
O'Hare M, Amarnani D, Whitmore HAB, An M, Marino C, Ramos L, Delgado-Tirado S, Hu X, Chmielewska N, Chandrahas A, Fitzek A, Heinrich F, Steurer S, Ondruschka B, Glatzel M, Krasemann S, Sepulveda-Falla D, Lagares D, Pedron J, Bushweller JH, Liu P, Arboleda-Velasquez JF, Kim LA. Targeting Runt-Related Transcription Factor 1 Prevents Pulmonary Fibrosis and Reduces Expression of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Host Mediators. Am J Pathol 2021;191(7):1193-1208.Abstract
Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) can arise from unknown causes, as in idiopathic PF, or as a consequence of infections, including severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Current treatments for PF slow, but do not stop, disease progression. We report that treatment with a runt-related transcription factor 1 (RUNX1) inhibitor (Ro24-7429), previously found to be safe, although ineffective, as a Tat inhibitor in patients with HIV, robustly ameliorates lung fibrosis and inflammation in the bleomycin-induced PF mouse model. RUNX1 inhibition blunted fundamental mechanisms downstream pathologic mediators of fibrosis and inflammation, including transforming growth factor-β1 and tumor necrosis factor-α, in cultured lung epithelial cells, fibroblasts, and vascular endothelial cells, indicating pleiotropic effects. RUNX1 inhibition also reduced the expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 and FES Upstream Region (FURIN), host proteins critical for SARS-CoV-2 infection, in mice and in vitro. A subset of human lungs with SARS-CoV-2 infection overexpress RUNX1. These data suggest that RUNX1 inhibition via repurposing of Ro24-7429 may be beneficial for PF and to battle SARS-CoV-2, by reducing expression of viral mediators and by preventing respiratory complications.
Muus C, Luecken MD, Eraslan G, Sikkema L, Waghray A, Heimberg G, Kobayashi Y, Vaishnav ED, Subramanian A, Smillie C, Jagadeesh KA, Duong ET, Fiskin E, Triglia ET, Ansari M, Cai P, Lin B, Buchanan J, Chen S, Shu J, Haber AL, Chung H, Montoro DT, Adams T, Aliee H, Allon SJ, Andrusivova Z, Angelidis I, Ashenberg O, Bassler K, Bécavin C, Benhar I, Bergenstråhle J, Bergenstråhle L, Bolt L, Braun E, Bui LT, Callori S, Chaffin M, Chichelnitskiy E, Chiou J, Conlon TM, Cuoco MS, Cuomo ASE, Deprez M, Duclos G, Fine D, Fischer DS, Ghazanfar S, Gillich A, Giotti B, Gould J, Guo M, Gutierrez AJ, Habermann AC, Harvey T, He P, Hou X, Hu L, Hu Y, Jaiswal A, Ji L, Jiang P, Kapellos TS, Kuo CS, Larsson L, Leney-Greene MA, Lim K, Litviňuková M, Ludwig LS, Lukassen S, Luo W, Maatz H, Madissoon E, Mamanova L, Manakongtreecheep K, Leroy S, Mayr CH, Mbano IM, McAdams AM, Nabhan AN, Nyquist SK, Penland L, Poirion OB, Poli S, Qi CC, Queen R, Reichart D, Rosas I, Schupp JC, Shea CV, Shi X, Sinha R, Sit RV, Slowikowski K, Slyper M, Smith NP, Sountoulidis A, Strunz M, Sullivan TB, Sun D, Talavera-López C, Tan P, Tantivit J, Travaglini KJ, Tucker NR, Vernon KA, Wadsworth MH, Waldman J, Wang X, Xu K, Yan W, Zhao W, Ziegler CGK, Ziegler CGK, Ziegler CGK. Single-cell meta-analysis of SARS-CoV-2 entry genes across tissues and demographics. Nat Med 2021;27(3):546-559.Abstract
Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and accessory proteases (TMPRSS2 and CTSL) are needed for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) cellular entry, and their expression may shed light on viral tropism and impact across the body. We assessed the cell-type-specific expression of ACE2, TMPRSS2 and CTSL across 107 single-cell RNA-sequencing studies from different tissues. ACE2, TMPRSS2 and CTSL are coexpressed in specific subsets of respiratory epithelial cells in the nasal passages, airways and alveoli, and in cells from other organs associated with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) transmission or pathology. We performed a meta-analysis of 31 lung single-cell RNA-sequencing studies with 1,320,896 cells from 377 nasal, airway and lung parenchyma samples from 228 individuals. This revealed cell-type-specific associations of age, sex and smoking with expression levels of ACE2, TMPRSS2 and CTSL. Expression of entry factors increased with age and in males, including in airway secretory cells and alveolar type 2 cells. Expression programs shared by ACE2TMPRSS2 cells in nasal, lung and gut tissues included genes that may mediate viral entry, key immune functions and epithelial-macrophage cross-talk, such as genes involved in the interleukin-6, interleukin-1, tumor necrosis factor and complement pathways. Cell-type-specific expression patterns may contribute to the pathogenesis of COVID-19, and our work highlights putative molecular pathways for therapeutic intervention.
Szczotka-Flynn LB, Shovlin JP, Schnider CM, Caffery BE, Alfonso EC, Carnt NA, Chalmers RL, Collier S, Jacobs DS, Joslin CE, Kroken AR, Lakkis C, Pearlman E, Schein OD, Stapleton F, Tu E, Willcox MDP. American Academy of Optometry Microbial Keratitis Think Tank. Optom Vis Sci 2021;98(3):182-198.Abstract
SIGNIFICANCE: Think Tank 2019 affirmed that the rate of infection associated with contact lenses has not changed in several decades. Also, there is a trend toward more serious infections associated with Acanthamoeba and fungi. The growing use of contact lenses in children demands our attention with surveillance and case-control studies. PURPOSE: The American Academy of Optometry (AAO) gathered researchers and key opinion leaders from around the world to discuss contact lens-associated microbial keratitis at the 2019 AAO Annual Meeting. METHODS: Experts presented within four sessions. Session 1 covered the epidemiology of microbial keratitis, pathogenesis of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and the role of lens care systems and storage cases in corneal disease. Session 2 covered nonbacterial forms of keratitis in contact lens wearers. Session 3 covered future needs, challenges, and research questions in relation to microbial keratitis in youth and myopia control, microbiome, antimicrobial surfaces, and genetic susceptibility. Session 4 covered compliance and communication imperatives. RESULTS: The absolute rate of microbial keratitis has remained very consistent for three decades despite new technologies, and extended wear significantly increases the risk. Improved oxygen delivery afforded by silicone hydrogel lenses has not impacted the rates, and although the introduction of daily disposable lenses has minimized the risk of severe disease, there is no consistent evidence that they have altered the overall rate of microbial keratitis. Overnight orthokeratology lenses may increase the risk of microbial keratitis, especially secondary to Acanthamoeba, in children. Compliance remains a concern and a significant risk factor for disease. New insights into host microbiome and genetic susceptibility may uncover new theories. More studies such as case-control designs suited for rare diseases and registries are needed. CONCLUSIONS: The first annual AAO Think Tank acknowledged that the risk of microbial keratitis has not decreased over decades, despite innovation. Important questions and research directions remain.
Braithwaite T, Adderley NJ, Subramanian A, Galloway J, Kempen JH, Gokhale K, Cope AP, Dick AD, Nirantharakumar K, Denniston AK. Epidemiology of Scleritis in the United Kingdom From 1997 to 2018: Population-Based Analysis of 11 Million Patients and Association Between Scleritis and Infectious and Immune-Mediated Inflammatory Disease. Arthritis Rheumatol 2021;73(7):1267-1276.Abstract
OBJECTIVE: To estimate 22-year trends in the prevalence and incidence of scleritis, and the associations of scleritis with infectious and immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (I-IMIDs) in the UK. METHODS: The retrospective cross-sectional and population cohort study (1997-2018) included 10,939,823 patients (2,946 incident scleritis cases) in The Health Improvement Network, a nationally representative primary care records database. The case-control and matched cohort study (1995-2019) included 3,005 incident scleritis cases and 12,020 control patients matched by age, sex, region, and Townsend deprivation index. Data were analyzed using multivariable Poisson regression, multivariable logistic regression, and Cox proportional hazards multivariable models adjusted for age, sex, Townsend deprivation index, race/ethnicity, smoking status, nation within the UK, and body mass index. Incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated. RESULTS: Scleritis incidence rates per 100,000 person-years declined from 4.23 (95% CI 2.16-6.31) to 2.79 (95% CI 2.19-3.39) between 1997 and 2018. The prevalence of scleritis per 100,000 person-years was 93.62 (95% CI 90.17-97.07) in 2018 (61,650 UK patients). Among 2,946 patients with incident scleritis, 1,831 (62.2%) were female, the mean ± SD age was 44.9 ± 17.6 years (range 1-93), and 1,257 (88.8%) were White. Higher risk of incident scleritis was associated with female sex (adjusted IRR 1.53 [95% CI 1.43-1.66], P < 0.001), Black race/ethnicity (adjusted IRR 1.52 [95% CI 1.14-2.01], P = 0.004 compared to White race/ethnicity), or South Asian race/ethnicity (adjusted IRR 1.50 [95% CI 1.19-1.90], P < 0.001 compared to White race/ethnicity), and older age (peak adjusted IRR 4.95 [95% CI 3.99-6.14], P < 0.001 for patients ages 51-60 years versus those ages ≤10 years). Compared to controls, scleritis patients had a 2-fold increased risk of a prior I-IMID diagnosis (17 I-IMIDs, P < 0.001) and significantly increased risk of subsequent diagnosis (13 I-IMIDs). The I-IMIDs most strongly associated with scleritis included granulomatosis with polyangiitis, Behçet's disease, and Sjögren's syndrome. CONCLUSION: From 1997 through 2018, the UK incidence of scleritis declined from 4.23 to 2.79/100,000 person-years. Incident scleritis was associated with 19 I-IMIDs, providing data for rational investigation and cross-specialty engagement.
André C, Durand ML, Buckley T, Cadorette J, Gilmore MS, Ciolino JB, Bispo PJM. A Cluster of Corneal Donor Rim Cultures Positive for Achromobacter Species Associated With Contaminated Eye Solution. Cornea 2021;40(2):223-227.Abstract
PURPOSE: To investigate a cluster of corneoscleral rim cultures positive for Achromobacter species over a 6-month period at Massachusetts Eye and Ear. METHODS: An increased rate of positive corneal donor rim cultures was noted at Massachusetts Eye and Ear between July and December 2017. Positive cultures were subjected to identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing by phenotypic (MicroScan WalkAway) and genotypic (16S rDNA sequencing) methods. Samples of the eye wash solution (GeriCare) used in the eye bank were also evaluated. Antimicrobial activity of Optical-GS against Achromobacter spp. at 4°C and 37°C was assessed by time-kill kinetics assay. RESULTS: Of 99 donor rims cultured, 14 (14.1%) grew bacteria with 11 (78.6%) due to uncommon nonfermenting Gram-negative bacilli. These had been identified by standard automated methods as Achromobacter (n = 3), Alcaligenes (n = 3), Ralstonia (n = 2), Pseudomonas (n = 2), and Stenotrophomonas (n = 1). Eight of these 11 isolates were subsequently available for molecular identification, and all were identified as Achromobacter spp. Six bottles of eyewash solution were evaluated and were positive for abundant Achromobacter spp. (3.4 × 105 ± 1.1 CFU/mL). Optisol-GS had no bactericidal activity against Achromobacter spp. at 4°C after 24-hour incubation but was bactericidal at 37°C. None of the patients who had received the contaminated corneas developed postoperative infection. CONCLUSIONS: An eyewash solution arising from a single lot was implicated in the contamination of donor rims by Achromobacter spp. The isolates were able to survive in the Optisol-GS medium at the recommended storage temperature. This highlights the need to continue improving protocols for tissue preparation and storage.
Leme RCP, Martins Bispo PJ, Salles MJ. Community-genotype methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus skin and soft tissue infections in Latin America: a systematic review. Braz J Infect Dis 2021;:101539.Abstract
BACKGROUND: Community-genotype methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CG-MRSA) emerged in the 1990s as a global community pathogen primarily involved in skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) and pneumonia. To date, the CG-MRSA SSTI burden in Latin America (LA) has not been assessed. OBJECTIVE: The main objective of this study was to report the rate and genotypes of community-genotype methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CG-MRSA) causing community-onset skin and soft tissue infections (CO-SSTIs) in LA over the last two decades. In addition, this research determined relevant data related to SSTIs due to CG-MRSA, including risk factors, other invasive diseases, and mortality. DATA SOURCES: Relevant literature was searched and extracted from five major databases: Embase, PubMed, LILACS, SciELO, and Web of Science. METHODS: A systematic review was performed, and a narrative review was constructed. RESULTS: An analysis of 11 studies identified epidemiological data across LA, with Argentina presenting the highest percentage of SSTIs caused by CG-MRSA (88%). Other countries had rates of CG-MRSA infection ranging from 0 to 51%. Brazil had one of the lowest rates of CG-MRSA SSTI (4.5-25%). In Argentina, being younger than 50 years of age and having purulent lesions were predictive factors for CG-MRSA CO-SSTIs. In addition, the predominant genetic lineages in LA belonged to sequence types 8, 30, and 5 (ST8, ST30, and ST5). CONCLUSION: There are significant regional differences in the rates of CG-MRSA causing CO-SSTIs. It is not possible to conclude whether or not CG-MRSA CO-SSTIs resulted in more severe SSTI presentations or in a higher mortality rate.
Baker TL, Greiner JV, Vesonder M. SARS-CoV-2 safety: Guidelines for shielding frontline nurses. Nursing 2021;51(3):32-42.Abstract
ABSTRACT: Protecting nurses in healthcare facilities from SARS-CoV-2 infection is essential for maintaining an adequate nursing force. Foundational guidelines, consistently utilized, protect the nursing staff from infection. This article describes guidelines designed to reduce acute infection and associated morbidity and mortality among nursing staff and improve compliance with infection prevention protocols.
Ung L, Jonas JB, Lietman TM, Chodosh J. COVID-19 and the Unfinished Agenda of VISION 2020. Am J Ophthalmol 2021;224:30-35.Abstract
PURPOSE: To critically evaluate the potential impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic on global ophthalmology and VISION 2020. DESIGN: Perspective supplemented with epidemiologic insights from available online databases. METHODS: We extracted data from the Global Vision Database (2017) and Global Burden of Disease Study (2017) to highlight temporal trends in global blindness since 1990, and provide a narrative overview of how COVID-19 may derail progress toward the goals of VISION 2020. RESULTS: Over 2 decades of VISION 2020 advocacy and program implementation have culminated in a universal reduction of combined age-standardized prevalence of moderate-to-severe vision impairment (MSVI) across all world regions since 1990. Between 1990 and 2017, low-income countries observed large reductions in the age-standardized prevalence per 100,000 persons of vitamin A deficiency (25,155 to 19,187), undercorrected refractive disorders (2,286 to 2,040), cataract (1,846 to 1,690), onchocerciasis (5,577 to 2,871), trachoma (506 to 159), and leprosy (36 to 26). Despite these reductions, crude projections suggest that more than 700 million persons will experience MSVI or blindness by 2050, principally owing to our growing and ageing global population. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the many resounding successes of VISION 2020, the burden of global blindness and vision impairment is set to reach historic levels in the coming years. The impact of COVID-19, while yet to be fully determined, now threatens the hard-fought gains of global ophthalmology. The postpandemic years will require renewed effort and focus on vision advocacy and expanding eye care services worldwide.
Keilty M, Houston KE, Collins C, Trehan R, Chen Y-T, Merabet L, Watts A, Pundlik S, Luo G. Inpatient Virtual Vision Clinic Improves Access to Vision Rehabilitation Before and During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Arch Rehabil Res Clin Transl 2021;3(1):100100.Abstract
Objective: To describe and evaluate a secure video call system combined with a suite of iPad vision testing apps to improve access to vision rehabilitation assessment for inpatients. Design: Retrospective. Setting: Two acute care inpatient rehabilitation hospitals and 1 long-term acute care (LTAC) hospital. Participants: Records of inpatients seen by the vision service. Interventions: Records from a 1-year telemedicine pilot performed at acute rehabilitation (AR) hospital 1 and then expanded to AR hospital 2 and LTAC hospital during coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) were reviewed. In the virtual visits, an occupational therapist measured the patients' vision with the iPad applications and forwarded results to the off-site Doctor of Optometry (OD) for review prior to a video visit. The OD provided diagnosis and education, press-on prism application supervision, strategies and modifications, and follow-up recommendations. Providers completed the telehealth usability questionnaire (10-point scale). Main Outcome Measures: Vision examinations per month at AR hospital 1 before and with telemedicine. Results: With telemedicine at AR hospital 1, mean visits per month significantly increased from 10.7±5 to 14.9±5 (=.002). Prism was trialed in 40% of cases of which 83% were successful, similar to previously reported in-person success rates. COVID-19 caused only a marginal decrease in visits per month (=.08) at AR1, whereas the site without an established program (AR hospital 2) had a 3-4 week gap in care while the program was initiated. Cases at the LTAC hospital tended to be more complex and difficult to manage virtually. The telehealth usability questionnaire median category scores were 7 for , 8 for , 6 for , and 9 for . Conclusions: The virtual vision clinic process improved inpatient access to eye and visual neurorehabilitation assessment before and during the COVID-19 quarantine and was well accepted by providers and patients.
Thulasi P, Saeed HN, Rapuano CJ, Hou JH, Appenheimer AB, Chodosh J, Kang JJ, Morrill AM, Vyas N, Zegans ME, Zuckerman R, Tu EY. Oral Miltefosine as Salvage Therapy for Refractory Acanthamoeba Keratitis. Am J Ophthalmol 2021;223:75-82.Abstract
PURPOSE: To report a case series of patients with treatment-resistant Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) using oral miltefosine, often as salvage therapy. DESIGN: Descriptive, retrospective multicenter case series. METHODS: We reviewed 15 patients with AK unresponsive to therapy who were subsequently given adjuvant systemic miltefosine between 2011 and 2017. The main outcome measures were resolution of infection, final visual acuity, tolerance of miltefosine, and clinical course of disease. RESULTS: All patients were treated with biguanides and/or diamidines or azoles without resolution of disease before starting miltefosine. Eleven of 15 patients retained count fingers or better vision, and all were considered disease free at last follow-up. Eleven of 15 patients had worsening inflammation with miltefosine, with 10 of them improving with steroids. Six patients received multiple courses of miltefosine. Most tolerated oral miltefosine well, with mild gastrointestinal symptoms as the most common systemic side effect. CONCLUSIONS: Oral miltefosine is a generally well-tolerated treatment adjuvant in patients with refractory AK. The clinician should be prepared for a steroid-responsive inflammatory response frequently encountered during the treatment course.
Ma KK, Kinde B, Doan T, Jacobs DS, Ong Tone S. Dual Molecular Diagnosis of Microsporidia (Encephalitozoon hellem) Keratoconjunctivitis in an Immunocompetent Adult. Cornea 2021;40(2):242-244.Abstract
PURPOSE: To report a case of microsporidia (Encephalitozoon hellem) keratoconjunctivitis acquired through avian transmission in an immunocompetent adult, diagnosed by metagenomic deep sequencing (MDS), and confirmed by polymerase chain reaction. METHODS: A case report. RESULTS: An 18-year-old woman was referred with unilateral keratoconjunctivitis unresponsive to topical and systemic therapy after exposure to birdcage debris. Slit-lamp examination of the left eye revealed a follicular papillary reaction of the palpebral conjunctiva and multiple corneal punctate epithelial opacities that stained minimally with fluorescein. In vivo confocal microscopy revealed bright double-walled structures and smaller bright round structures in the superficial epithelial debris and epithelium. Molecular diagnosis with MDS of E. hellem was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction. Clinical resolution and normalization of in vivo confocal microscopy was observed after a 6-week course of topical azithromycin. The patient elected a 3-week course of topical voriconazole 1% for definitive antimicrosporidial treatment, with no evidence of persistent infection 1 month later. CONCLUSIONS: Microsporidial (E. hellem) keratoconjunctivitis can occur through avian transmission in immunocompetent hosts. Topical azithromycin may be effective against this pathogen. MDS has utility in the diagnosis of atypical keratoconjunctivitis.

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