Research team writes case report on contaminated eye drops

A group of researchers affiliated with Case Western Reserve University, University Hospital and the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center recently had a case report titled “Investigating and Treating a Corneal Ulcer due to Extensively Drug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa” published in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

The authors on this report were:

  • Robert A. Bonomo, professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and infectious disease specialist at Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center;
  • Ahmed F. Omar, assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and ophthalmologist at University Hospitals;
  • Morgan K. Morelli, an infectious disease specialist University Hospitals; 
  • Amy Kloosterboer, an ophthalmologist at University Hospitals.

In November 2022, the team treated a patient at University Hospitals with a severe eye infection refractory to traditional treatment. A culture of corneal scrapings grew XDR P. aeruginosa. The patient’s over-the-counter (OTC) eye drops were secured, cultured and grew the same bacteria. The patient’s isolate was sent to a CWRU VA CARES research lab for further testing. On Feb. 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a Health Alert Network Health Advisory on an outbreak of infections caused by extensively drug-resistant P. aeruginosa associated with OTC artificial tears. Whole genome sequencing (WGS) performed at in the CWRU VA CARES research lab confirmed that the patient’s isolate had the same resistance genes as described in the nationwide outbreak. CWRU VA CARES was the first laboratory to perform WGS to understand the molecular mechanisms of this bacterium’s drug resistance.

Read their report.