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

Mycobacterium tuberculosis presenting as chronic red eye.

Author information

1
Centre for Vision Research, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital, Westmead, New South Wales, Australia. avjennings@optusnet.com.au

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To report a case of tuberculosis of the conjunctiva.

METHODS:

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

RESULTS:

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.

CONCLUSION:

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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