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Chapter 3.10 : Ocular Cultures
Inflammatory eye conditions may be due to a variety of diseases, and microorganisms play a major role in both acute and chronic diseases ( Table 3.10-1 ). The detection of infectious agents depends on knowledge of the site of infection and the severity of the process, because a variety of organisms cause infections of the eye. Unlike the procedures with other specimen types, it may be important for the physician to inoculate culture media at the bedside rather than transport the specimen to the laboratory for processing. This procedure describes the clinical syndromes associated with bacterial infections of the eye, the organisms associated with these syndromes, and the procedure for isolation of these infectious agents. In addition to aerobic bacterial culture, Table 3.10-2 indicates the media to inoculate for anaerobic, fungal, and mycobacterial cultures. Refer to the respective sections of the handbook for workup of the microorganisms that are not covered in this procedure.