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2018 Agenda and Abstracts | < Previous Next >

2018 OMIG Abstract

Clinical Applications of Whole Metagenomic Shotgun DNA Sequencing for Diagnosis of Corneal Ulcers

Ilya M. Sluch, MD, Valery Shestopalov, PhD, Terrence O’Brien, MD, Darlene Miller, PhD
Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, Central Florida Eye Specialists


Purpose: To test the application of whole metagenomics shotgun (WMS) DNA sequencing in microbial identification and characterization of complex corneal ulcers.

Methods: The study was approved by the University of Miami IRB. Complex corneal ulcer patients were prospectively enrolled in the study. The corneal scrape specimen was analyzed using direct WMS sequencing and traditional microbiological techniques to test for bacterial, fungal, viral and protozoan causes of infectious keratitis.

Results: Eight prospective complex clinical keratitis specimens were analyzed with WMS sequencing and traditional microbiology. Three of the 8 specimens grew Fusarium species on traditional culture media, as well as correctly identified and speciated using WMS sequencing. One specimen grew Staphylococcus aureus, which was also identified by WMS sequencing and tested for antibiotic resistance genes. WMS sequencing routinely identified Acinetobacter, Candida, and Coagulate Negative Staphylococcus species in all 8 specimens.

Conclusion: Our results suggest utilization of WMS sequencing for rapid identification and speciation of fungal ulcers, which provides faster diagnostics compared to traditional microbiology. Potential complication of high sensitivity of WMS sequencing is the detection of opportunistic microbiota, potentially accumulating on the necrotic tissue of the infected ocular surface. While WGS technology is rapidly evolving and has the potential to eventually replace culture-based detection, it is currently feasible to utilize it in parallel to traditional microbiology.

Disclosure: S

Support: This study was supported by the NIH grant R01-EY022038 (VIS).


2018 Agenda and Abstracts | < Previous Next >