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2002 Ocular Microbiology and Immunology Group, Abstract 2

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Comparative efficacy of topical gatifloxacin, a new fluoroquinolone, versus topical ciprofloxacin, penicillin G and tobramycin in the treatment of experimental S. pneumoniae and P. aeruginosa keratitis in rabbits.
Myung-Jin Joo M.D., Elias Aliprandis M.D., Terrence P. O'Brien M.D. Ocular Microbiology Laboratory, The Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Purpose: To examine the comparative efficacy of gatifloxacin, a new topical fluoroquinolone, against experimental keratitis due to Streptococcus pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa keratitis in a rabbit model.

Methods: Forty New Zealand albino rabbits were divided in two experimental groups. Bacterial keratitis was created in the right eye with central corneal intrastromal injection of a 100 microliter suspension containing 1 X 106 organisms of ATCC strains of Streptococcus pneumoniae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, respectively. To compare the drug efficacy of gatifloxacin with other antibiotic agents, the Streptococcus pneumoniae keratitis group received topical gatifloxacin 0.3% or ciprofloxacin 0.3% or penicillin G 500,000 u/ml, or non-bacteriostatic balanced salt solution as a control administered every hour for 12 hours. The Pseudomonas aeruginosa keratitis group received gatifloxacin 0.3%, ciprofloxacin 0.3%, tobramycin 14.5 mg/ml or control (BSS). The corneas were excised and ground for quantitative bacteriologic analysis.

Results: All treatments significantly reduced the number of organisms in treated eyes compared to untreated, control eyes (p-values < 0.05). No significant difference in treatment efficacy was found between individual treatment groups.

Conclusion: Gatifloxacin may prove useful as a broad-spectrum topical antibiotic in the empiric treatment of bacterial keratitis, given its greater Gram positive coverage including S. pneumoniae as well as its excellent activity against Gram negative organisms, including Pseudomonas species.

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