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Cornea. 2006 Oct;25(9):1118-20.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis presenting as chronic red eye.

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Centre for Vision Research, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia.



To report a case of tuberculosis of the conjunctiva.


Case report with pathologic correlation. A 17-year-old man who had relocated to Australia from Liberia presented with chronic unilateral conjunctivitis.


The diagnosis was not initially evident, despite 2 separate biopsy specimens, conjunctival cultures, and polymerase chain reaction testing. Definitive diagnosis was made after repeated histologic examination. Antituberculous treatment resulted in prompt resolution of all ocular signs.


Tuberculous conjunctivitis is now a very rare condition in the developed world. Definitive diagnosis requires the identification of Mycobacterium tuberculosis organisms in conjunctival biopsy specimens-either through microscopic detection of acid-fast bacilli or more sensitive culture techniques.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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