Brucella keratoconjunctivitis

Van Rooyen M.M.B. (1981)

The original publication is available at http://www.samj.org.za

A case is described in which the rubber cap of a vial containing Brucella abortus vaccine came off accidentally and some of the contents splashed in the eyes of a veterinarian. A uni-ocular keratoconjunctivitis developed. The other eye was similarly affected 1 week later. Brucella tests were negative. Two months later the Br. abortus titre was 1/640 and the Br. melitensis titre 1/320. Systemic treatment with tetracyclines, co-trimoxazole and streptomycin and local treatment with chloramphenicol and atropine had no effect. Two attacks of acute keratoconjunctivitis subsequently occurred within hours of handling Brucella vaccine. In the right eye a corneal abscess developed, as well as uveitis and cataract. Extracapsular lens extraction was performed. Panophthalmitis followed and the eye was enucleated. The literature is reviewed and the possibility of a Brucella keratoconjunctivitis indistinguishable from viral keratoconjunctivitis is discussed.

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