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Intrastromal Corneal Ring Implants Associated Bacterial Infections.

PURPOSE: This study examines the incidence of infection and resistance associated with Intracorneal Ring Segment (ICRS) implantation, a common outpatient surgical treatment for correcting refractive errors and corneal ectatic diseases. Although ICRS procedures are typically safe and reversible, there is a low but notable risk of microbial infections, which require prompt and sometimes invasive treatment.

METHODS: Three electronic databases, PubMed, Web of Science (WoS), and Scopus, were utilised to search for literature according to PRISMA guidelines to identify infections related to the implantation of ICRS in the cornea between January 2000 and December 2022.

RESULTS: Gram-positive organisms were involved in 86% of cases: 35.7% S. aureus, 25% coagulase-negative staphylococci species, 17.8% streptococci and 7.1% Nocardia species. Less commonly recorded were Gram-negative bacteria (14%), with Pseudomonas aeruginosa ( circa 10%) and Klebsiella pneumonia (4%) being the most common Gram-negative bacteria. In rare cases, fungi have also been reported. ICRS-related bacterial infections can be categorised into early or late onset. Early onset infection typically manifests within the first few weeks after implantation and is often associated with contamination during surgery, unhygienic practices, or inadequate sterilisation techniques. On the other hand, late-onset infection may develop months or even years after the initial procedures and may be associated with persistent bacterial colonisation, secondary infections, or prolonged use of prophylactic antibiotics. S aureus is encountered in both early and late-onset infections, while Nocardia species and K. pneumoniae have generally been reported to occur in late-onset infections. In addition, vision recovery from S. aureus infections tends to be poor compared to other bacterial infections.

CONCLUSION: S. aureus is a predominant pathogen that often requires surgical intervention with poor outcomes. Early infections result from incision gaps and ring segment rubbing, while late infections are linked to prolonged antibiotic use. Further research is needed on novel antimicrobial ICRS to procure the vision.

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