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Cornea. 2002 Jan;21(1):43-7.

Treatment of acute bacterial conjunctivitis with topical netilmicin.

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  • 1Medical Department of SIFI SpA, Catania, Italy.



This study compares the clinical and microbiologic value of topical netilmicin with that of gentamicin in the treatment of acute bacterial conjunctivitis.


A double-blind, randomized, prospective, controlled study was performed in 209 patients. One to two drop(s) of either antibiotic was applied to the affected eye(s) four times a day for up to 10 days. Patients were examined at the time of diagnosis and after 3, 5, and 10 days. Clinical efficacy was measured as the cumulative sum score (CSS) of the key signs and symptoms of acute bacterial ocular infection. Sensitivity/resistance was evaluated using the disk diffusion method.


Drug efficacy assessment was restricted only to patients with positive baseline culture results (n = 121). Of the isolated organisms, 96.9% were sensitive to netilmicin, whereas only 75.0% were sensitive to gentamicin (p = 0.00001). Netilmicin provided a broad-spectrum coverage comparable with that of ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, and norfloxacin. Netilmicin also was more effective than gentamicin in eradicating infections (p = 0.001 at day 5 and p = 0.037 at day 10) and in ameliorating the CSS (p = 0.037 at day 3, p = 0.001 at both day 5 and day 10). Only minor adverse events occurred in patients treated with either netilmicin or gentamicin.


This study demonstrates that netilmicin is a safe and effective antibiotic that can be used as first-line therapy for the treatment of acute bacterial conjunctivitis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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