Bacterial contamination of human organ-cultured corneas

TitleBacterial contamination of human organ-cultured corneas
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsZanetti E, Bruni A, Mucignat G, Camposampiero D, Frigo AC, Ponzin D
Pagination603 - 7
Date PublishedJul
ISSN0277-3740 (Print) 0277-3740 (Linking)
Accession Number15968169
Keywords*Tissue Donors, Bacteria / *isolation & purification, Bacterial Physiological Phenomena, Cornea / *microbiology, Cryopreservation, Culture Media, Eye Banks, Humans, Organ Culture Techniques, Organ Preservation, Sclera / microbiology

PURPOSE: This study was designed to define the risk of contamination of human corneas preserved by the organ-culture method. METHODS: We examined the microbial contaminations in 3,100 corneoscleral rims cultivated in our eye bank. Microbiologic tests were performed in the preservation medium 5 days after the beginning of cornea cultures and in the last day of culture (21.5 +/- 8.1 days), when the corneas were transferred to the deswelling medium. In 1,029 corneas a microbiologic test also was performed 1 day after the beginning of deswelling procedure. RESULTS: We found 206 microbial contaminations (6.65% of total) after 5 days and 17 (0.55%) at the end of the preservation period. The total number of contaminated samples during the cornea culture was 223 corresponding to 7.2% of the samples (95% confidence interval, 6.3-8.1). The 1,029 tests performed during the deswelling step disclosed 26 contaminated cornea cultures despite apparent sterility of the medium (2.5%; 95% confidence interval, 1.5-3.5). CONCLUSIONS: The observation of microbial contaminations in a time close to the transplant (i.e., at the end of the preservation period and in the deswelling step) showed that a fast microbial tests during the deswelling procedure may prevent the grafting of a contaminated cornea. The appearance of bacteria in the deswelling medium despite a negative culture medium suggests that bacteria penetrate the corneal tissues during the culture to be subsequently extruded when the internal fluids move outward.

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