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Asia Pac J Ophthalmol (Phila). 2015 May-Jun;4(3):180-3. doi: 10.1097/APO.0000000000000070.

The Efficacy of 1% Chloramphenicol Eye Ointment Versus 2.5% Povidone-Iodine Ophthalmic Solution in Reducing Bacterial Colony in Newborn Conjunctivae.

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From the Departments of *Ophthalmology, †Pediatric, and ‡Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine University of Indonesia/Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital, Jakarta, Indonesia.



This study aimed to evaluate bacterial pattern and reduction of bacterial colonies in neonatal conjunctivae after prophylaxis 1% chloramphenicol eye ointment and 2.5% povidone-iodine ophthalmic solution.


A double-blind randomized controlled trial was conducted.


Swabs were taken from the inferior fornix conjunctiva of the right eyes of 60 newborns 1 hour after birth. Either the 2.5% povidone-iodine ophthalmic solution or the 1% chloramphenicol eye ointment was randomly applied to the conjunctivae. Conjunctival swabs were taken 2 hours after prophylaxis treatment. Specimens were delivered to the Microbiology Laboratory to determine the number of bacterial colonies and to evaluate bacterial pattern.


Sixty eye specimens were included in the study. Bacterial growth was shown in 44 eye specimens, whereas it was not found in the remaining 16 eye specimens. The bacteria found in neonatal conjunctivae was gram-positive coccus (61%), followed by gram-positive bacillus (36%) and gram-negative bacillus (2%). Both agents significantly reduced the bacterial colony-forming unit (P = 0.00); however, the effect was not significantly different as shown by statistics between both groups (P = 0.748), indicating that the 2.5% povidone-iodine ophthalmic solution had a similar effect to the 1% chloramphenicol eye ointment. No adverse effect such as toxic conjunctivitis or corneal haziness was found in both groups.


The 2.5% povidone-iodine ophthalmic solution has been proven as effective as the 1% chloramphenicol eye ointment and induces no toxic reaction. Because it is less expensive than the other, it could be recommended as a good alternative for ophthalmia neonatorum prophylaxis. Further studies with a larger sample size should be conducted to confirm its cost-effectiveness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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