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2004 OMIG, Abstract 2

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An Animal Model of Mycobacteria Infection Under Corneal Flaps for Refractive Surgery
CBD Adan, EH Sato, LB Sousa RS Oliverira, SC Leao, D Freitas. Departments of Ophthalmology and Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Parasitology, Federal University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

Purpose: To develop a new experimental animal model of infection by Mycobacterium chelonae in keratomileusis.
Methods: Double masked, prospective study using 24 adult male New Zealand rabbits. One eye of each rabbit was submitted to automatic lamellar keratotomy by the automatic corneal shaper (ACS®; by Bausch&Lomb) under general anesthesia. Eyes were immunosuppressed by a single local injection of methyl prednisolone. Twelve animals were inoculated into the keratomileusis interface with 1 uL of 106 heat-inactivated bacteria (heat-inactivated inoculum controls) and twelve with 1 uL of 106 live bacteria (subjects). Trimethoprim 0.1% drops were used as surgical procedure prophylaxis every 4 hours. Animals were examined under slit lamp by 2 observers on the 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 11th, 16th, and 23 post-operative days. Slit lamp photographs were taken to document clinical signs. Animals were sacrificed when corneal disease was detected. Cornea samples were taken for microbiological analysis.
Results: Subjects: 11 out of 12 rabbits developed corneal disease, and M. chelonae could be isolated from nine rabbits. Heat-inactivated inoculum controls: 11 out of 12 rabbits did not develop corneal disease. M. chelonae was not isolated from any of the heat-inactivated inoculum control rabbits, or from the healthy cornea control rabbits.
Conclusion: Corneal infection by M chelonae was successfully induced in rabbits submitted to keratomileusis. This model can be used for the analysis of therapeutic responses.

Key words: 1. Infectious; 2. Keratitis; 3. Animal model; 4. Mycobacterium chelonae; 5. Lamellar keratotomy.

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