Purpose: To characterize a rabbit model of Mycobacterium chelonae keratitis after lamellar keratectomy and assess the effectiveness of fluoroquinolone therapy. Setting: University Laboratory, University of California, Irvine, California, USA. Methods: Twenty-eight New Zealand white rabbits had unilateral lamellar keratectomy with placement of 2.5 × 105 colony-forming units of log-phase M chelonae under each flap. Eyes (7 per group) were randomized and treated with sterile balanced salt solution, gatifloxacin 0.3%, ciprofloxacin 0.3%, or levofloxacin 0.5% 4 times daily. Two masked observers examined all eyes on days 2, 5, and 7 and weekly for 4 weeks. Severity of disease and bacterial culture results were the main outcomes measured. The means and standard deviations were calculated, and differences between the groups were statistically analyzed. Results: All eyes developed clinical disease. At the time the rabbits were killed, eyes treated with balanced salt solution, ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, and gatifloxacin were culture positive in 6 (85.7%), 7 (100%), 6 (85.7%), and 3 (42.9%) of 7 eyes per group, respectively. Frequency of positive culture and the severity of clinical disease in gatifloxacin-treated eyes were significantly less (P < .05) than in the other groups combined. Conclusions: The rabbit model of M chelonae keratitis was successfully developed in our study. A fourth-generation quinolone (gatifloxacin) showed the best performance among the fluoroquinolones tested in our experimental approach. The fourth-generation fluoroquinolone, gatifloxacin, could be effectively used for the treatment of mycobacterial keratitis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems