Propionibacterium aches as a cause of visually significant corneal ulcers

Jerald P. Underdahl, George J. Florakis, Richard E. Braunstein, Daniel A. Johnson, Pamela Cheung, Jonathan Briggs, David M. Meisler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Purpose. To report Propionibacterium acnes as a cause of vision- threatening infectious keratitis and to discuss culture isolation and antibiotic treatment. Methods. Retrospective case series presentation collected from three academic medical centers. Results. Six cases of P. acnes infectious keratitis are presented, all of which were associated with a compromised corneal barrier or environment. All cases were culture-positive on thioglycolate broth; none became positive before 7 days of growth. No other organisms were isolated from any culture, and the growth of P. acnes occurred in some cases despite negative gram stains. Conclusion. P. acnes can produce vision-debilitating keratitis when the cornea is compromised. Growth in culture should be monitored for at least 10 days to ensure isolation of this fastidious organism. P. acnes may respond to several different antibiotics that have gram-positive coverage, but it should be treated with vancomycin to enhance clearance of the organism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)451-454
Number of pages4
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2000


  • Keratitis
  • Propionibacterium acnes
  • Ulcer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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