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Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 1993 Sep;231(9):521-8.

The role of Pseudomonas aeruginosa elastase in corneal ring abscess formation in pseudomonal keratitis.

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Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, Kumamoto University, Japan.


In order to identify the causative factors of ring abscess, which is the characteristic feature of pseudomonal keratitis, pseudomonal endotoxin, exotoxin A, and elastase were each separately injected into guinea pig cornea. There was no formation of ring abscess. Injection of living Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains IFO3455 and Takamatsu which produce all three molecules, clearly induced ring abscess. In contrast, when heat-killed bacteria strain IFO3455 or living bacteria of the non-elastase-producing strain PA103 were injected, ring abscess was not induced. Furthermore, when living bacteria strain IFO3455 were injected with anti-elastase antibody or a protease inhibitor, ovomacroglobulin, ring abscess formation was significantly inhibited. Histological examination demonstrated that the ring abscess was a dense accumulation and aggregation of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) with debris of cells and lamellae in the deep stroma at the corneal margins, suggesting prevention of PMN migration to the central lesion. The presence of anti-elastase antibody or a specific elastase inhibitor facilitated PMN migration towards living bacteria strain IFO3455 in an in vitro model. These results indicate that pseudomonal elastase is a necessary but not sufficient factor in the formation of ring abscess in pseudomonal keratitis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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