The Charles T. Campbell Eye Microbiology Lab
UPMCUniversity of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
HomeContact InformationLab Diagnostic TestingAntibiotic SusceptibilityAntimicrobial TherapyCurrent ResearchPhotos

Ocular Microbiology and Immunology Group
Back to OMIG Main Page

< Previous | 2020 Agenda and Abstracts | Next >


2020 OMIG Abstract

Diversity and Stability of the Microbiome in Ocular Surface Diseases

Michael J. Zilliox, PhD1, Carine R. Mores, MS2, Paul de Bustros2, Charles S. Bouchard, MD, MA2
1Edward Hines Jr. Veterans Affairs Hospital, Hines, IL; 2Department of Ophthalmology, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL

Purpose: Studies of the ocular microbiome have proliferated over the last few years, but several diseases remain uncharacterized. We performed prospective, observational studies to characterize the ocular surface microbiome (OSM) in four chronic ocular surface diseases (OSDs) and healthy controls. We also studied the longitudinal stability of the microbiome in Stevens-Johnson Syndrome patients.

Methods: Sterile swabs were used to collect samples from each eye of 49 patients. Sterile technique and multiple controls were used to assess contamination during DNA extraction, amplification and sequencing. Concurrent use of topical antibiotics, steroids, and bandage contact lenses (BCLs) was documented.

Results: We have previously found that, despite the low biomass of the ocular surface, we can detect a microbiome in ~50% of eyes sampled using 16S rRNA sequencing. We observed that approximately half of patients had distinct microbiomes in each eye despite the eyes having similar diversity measures. Healthy controls had a Lactobacillus/Streptococcus mixture or significant Corynebacterium, while Staphylococcus predominated in patients with Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) in at least one eye. Lax eyelid syndrome (LES) and Dry Eye Disease (DED) patients had similar OSMs, with Corynebacterium being the most prevalent bacteria. Alpha diversity was higher in controls and ocular graft-vs-host (oGVHD) patients compared to the other OSDs. Next, we performed longitudinal analysis of SJS patients and observed several interesting patterns, including eyes with stable microbiomes over several weeks, eyes with unstable microbiomes over several weeks, eyes with convergent microbiomes and also eyes with divergent microbiomes. Several novel genera have been detected.

Conclusion: Only ~50% of the patients had similar microbiomes in each eye. A majority of healthy eyes had a Lactobacillus/Streptococcus mix or Corynebacterium microbiome. Staphylococcus predominated in SJS, Lactobacillus in oGVHD, and Corynebacterium in DED and LES. There may be an association between different OSDs and the microbiome. Longitudinal analysis has uncovered interesting stability patterns and novel genera. Further study of the relationship between the microbiome, disease progression and convalescence is warranted.

Disclosure: N

Support: Illinois Society for the Prevention of Blindness Grant; Department of Ophthalmology, Geoffrey Gunnar Memorial Scholarship, Loyola University Chicago Institutional Funds, Richard A. Perritt Charitable Foundation.



< Previous | 2020 Agenda and Abstracts | Next >