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J Fr Ophtalmol. 2013 Dec;36(10):e201-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jfo.2013.04.012. Epub 2013 Nov 5.

[Gonococcal conjunctivitis in a young woman].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Fédération des laboratoires, hôpital d'instruction des armées Robert-Picqué, 351, route de Toulouse, CS 80002, 33882 Villenave d'Ornon cedex, France. Electronic address:


We describe the management of a female patient who developed an uncomplicated unilateral purulent conjunctivitis with no other clinical signs. The typical clinical presentation and Gram stain of the discharge suggested gonococcal conjunctivitis, allowing treatment to be initiated. Indeed, a strain of Neisseria gonorrhoeae resistant to penicillin and tetracycline was isolated. In collaboration with the patient's primary care physician, management included lavage of the infected eye, systemic antibiotic treatment with erythromycin and topical antibiotic treatment with azithromycin, followed by local steroid treatment in response to persistent hyperemia, which was discontinued and replaced by azithromycin again because of recurrent discharge. Eleven days after the first consultation, a complete cure was achieved without sequelae, and a final check to rule out a residual gonococcal carrier state is planned. Gonococcal conjunctivitis, a diagnostic and therapeutic emergency, is a potentially blinding sexually transmitted disease with which general practitioners and ophthalmologists are not well aquainted. Although rare in developed countries, its incidence is rising in parallel with the global recrudescence of gonococcal infections. This case of gonococcal conjunctivitis is discussed as a review of the clinical and biological elements necessary for diagnosis and therapeutic management, which must occur as early as possible, taking into account rapidly increasing gonococcal resistance to antimicrobial therapies, so as to interrupt spread of the disease.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.


Adult conjunctivitis; Antibiothérapie; Antibiotic resistance; Antibiotic susceptibility; Antibiotic treatment; Conjonctivite de l’adulte; Microbiological samples; Neisseria gonorrhoeae; Prélèvements microbiologiques; Résistance aux antibiotiques

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