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Indian J Ophthalmol. 2020 Jan;68(1):39-46. doi: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_65_19.

Analysis of differentially expressed genes in bacterial and fungal keratitis.

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Department of Ophthalmology, The Second Hospital of Jilin University, Changchun, Jilin Province, China.



This study was aimed at identifying differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in bacterial and fungal keratitis. The candidate genes can be selected and quantified to distinguish between causative agents of infectious keratitis to improve therapeutic outcomes.


The expression profile of bacterial or fungal infection, and normal corneal tissues were downloaded from the Gene Expression Omnibus. The limma package in R was used to screen DEGs in bacterial and fungal keratitis. The Co-Express tool was used to calculate correlation coefficients of co-expressed genes. The "Advanced network merge" function of Cytoscape tool was applied to obtain a fusional co-expression network based on bacterial and fungal keratitis DEGs. Finally, functional enrichment analysis by DAVID software and KEGG analysis by KOBAS of DEGs in fusion network were performed.


In total, 451 DEGs in bacterial keratitis and 353 DEGs in fungal keratitis were screened, among which 148 DEGs were found only in bacterial keratitis and 50 DEGs only in fungal keratitis. Besides, 117 co-expressed gene pairs were identified among bacterial keratitis DEGs and 87 pairs among fungal keratitis DEGs. In total, nine biological pathways and seven KEGG pathways were screened by analyzing DEGs in the fusional co-expression network.


TLR4 is the representative DEG specific to bacterial keratitis, and SOD2 is the representative DEG specific to fungal keratitis, both of which are promising candidate genes to distinguish between bacterial and fungal keratitis.


Bacterial keratitis; co-expression network; differentially expressed genes (DEGs); fungal keratitis

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