A Genomic Approach to Investigating Ocular Surface Microorganisms: Monitoring Core Microbiota on Eyelid Margin with a Dot hybridization Assay

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A Genomic Approach to Investigating Ocular Surface Microorganisms: Monitoring Core Microbiota on Eyelid Margin with a Dot hybridization Assay

A sound ocular surface microbiota has been recognized as a part of ocular surface health following a growing body of evidence from next-generation sequencing technique and metagenomic analysis. However, even from the perspective of contemporary precision medicine, it is difficult to directly apply these new technologies to clinical practice. Therefore, we proposed a model based on dot hybridization assay (DHA) to bridge conventional culture with a metagenomic approach in investigating and monitoring ocular surface microbiota. Endophthalmitis, mostly caused by bacterial infection, is the most severe complication of many intraocular surgeries, such as cataract surgery. Hazardous microorganisms hiding and proliferating in the ocular surface microbiota not only increase the risk of endophthalmitis but also jeopardize the effectiveness of the preoperative aseptic procedure and postoperative topical antibiotics. The DHA model enables the simultaneous assessment of bacterial bioburden, detection of target pathogens and microorganisms, and surveillance of methicillin/oxacillin resistance gene mecA in the ocular surface microbiota. This assay revealed heavier bacterial bioburden in men, compatible with a higher risk of endophthalmitis in male patients who underwent cataract surgery. No occurrence of endophthalmitis for these patients was compatible with non-hazardous microorganisms identified by specific dots for target pathogens. Moreover, the mecA dot detected oxacillin-resistant strains, of which culture failed to isolate. Therefore, the DHA model could provide an alternative genomic approach to investigate and monitor ocular surface microorganisms in clinical practice nowadays.
— Read on www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/21/21/8299

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