Clinical and Microbiological Profile of Infectious Keratitis in Children

Patricia Chirinos-Saldaña; Victor Manuel Bautista de Lucio; Julio Cesar Hernandez-Camarena; Alejandro Navas; Arturo Ramirez-Miranda; Lizet Vizuet-Garcia; Mariana Ortiz-Casas; Nadia Lopez-Espinosa; Carolina Gaona-Juarez; Luis Antonio Bautista-Hernandez; Enrique O Graue-Hernandez


BMC Ophthalmol. 2013;13(54) 

In This Article


Worldwide, infectious corneal disease is an important cause of visual impairment and blindness, with reported annual incidence between 1.5 to 8 million,[1] being more prevalent in developing countries. Although, infectious keratitis is an uncommon event in paediatric patients, amblyopia is of concern, since altered corneal transparency during infancy prevents normal neurophysiological development.[2]

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 700,000 children annually develop corneal pathology that permanently affects their vision.[3] This fact is significant because the eventual blind-years are greater when compared to adults, and so its incremental cost to healthcare systems. Incidence of blindness caused by keratitis in children is 20 times higher in tropical developing countries with poor healthcare when compared to developed countries.[4] Ocular trauma, the main predisposing factor for infectious keratitis in children, is reported in 26–58.8% of cases.[5]

Corneal infections in pediatric patients differ from adult disease in the risk factors, evolution, treatment compliance and complications. These differences usually result in a poorer visual prognosis.[2,6,7]

The purpose of this study is to describe the clinical, microbiological and predisposing factors of infectious keratitis in pediatric patients to improve the diagnosis, treatment and visual prognosis of this unique set of patients.