What is the role of conjunctival scrapings and cultures in the diagnosis of bacterial conjunctivitis (pink eye)?

Updated: Jan 03, 2019
  • Author: Karen K Yeung, OD, FAAO; Chief Editor: Andrew A Dahl, MD, FACS  more...
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Answer

Conjunctival scrapings and cultures are frequently obtained in severe bacterial conjunctivitis or if there is corneal involvement, especially when the central cornea is affected, multiple keratitis lesions are present, any corneal ulcer is 2 mm or larger in diameter, or antibacterial therapy is ineffective. Gram staining and cultures should be grown in blood agar, chocolate agar, Sabouraud dextrose agar, and thioglycollate broth.


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