Mycobacterium chelonae keratitis in a patient with Sjögren's syndrome

M. T. Van Der Beek, A. T. Bernards, R. Lapid-Gortzak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. In this report a case of Mycobacterium chelonae keratitis in a patient without any previously described risk factors is described. The only risk factor found was a rheumatoid arthritis related Sjögren's syndrome. METHODS. Case report. RESULTS. A 60-year-old woman was referred to the hospital with an infectious keratitis of the left eye of 3 months duration, unresponsive to empirical therapy with ofloxacin and tobramycin drops. Her medical history included a longstanding rheumatoid arthritis and a secondary ocular surface syndrome. Upon arrival the left eye showed diffuse corneal edema and centrally several large infiltrates with fluffy edges, surrounded by several smaller satellite infiltrates. The cornea was scraped for culture and grew M chelonae and sensitivity testing showed sensitivity to ciprofloxacin, clofazimine, and clarithromycin. Systemically, ciprofloxacin 750 mg and clarithromycin 500 mg twice daily were prescribed orally. Topical therapy consisted of topical erythromycin 10 mg/mL and ofloxacin 3 mg/mL every 2 hours. Treatment was continued fora total of 10 months during which the infiltrates cleared completely, but the central cornea remained scarred. CONCLUSIONS. M chelonae can be a cause of infectious keratitis in patients without known risk factors for rapidly growing mycobacterium keratitis. Especially in the case of ocular infections that show no response to regular antibacterial treatment, mycobacterial infection should be considered. Good communication between the ophthalmologist and the microbiologist is crucial for a rapid diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-296
Number of pages3
JournalEuropean Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Infectious keratitis
  • Mycobacterium chelonae
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sjögren syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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