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Adv Exp Med Biol


Understanding the Role of Pro-resolving Lipid Mediators in Infectious Keratitis.



Keratitis is a sight-threatening inflammatory condition of the cornea that can be caused by both infectious and non-infectious agents. Physical or chemical trauma are typically related to non-infectious keratitis, which may then become secondarily infected or remain non-infected. Etiology of infectious keratitis is most often associated with bacteria; but viruses, fungi, and parasites are common causative pathogens as well. As a global concern, common risk factors include: systemic immunosuppression (secondary to malnutrition, alcoholism, diabetes, steroid use), previous corneal surgery (refractive corneal surgery, penetrating keratoplasty), extended wear contact lens use, pre-existing ocular surface diseases (dry eye, epithelial defect) and ocular trauma (agriculture- or farm-related) [1-8]. Annual rates of incidence include nearly one million clinical visits due to keratitis in the United States, while it has been reported that roughly two million people develop corneal ulcers in India. Clinically, patients may show signs of eye pain (ranging from mild to severe), blurred vision, photophobia, chemosis and redness. Pathogenesis is generally characterized by rapid progression, focal white infiltrates with underlying stromal inflammation, corneal thinning, stromal edema, mucopurulent discharge and hypopyon, which can lead to corneal scarring, endophthalmitis, and perforation. In fact, corneal opacity is not only a complication of keratitis, but among the leading causes of legal blindness worldwide. Despite that empirical treatment effectively controls most of the pathogens implicated in infectious keratitis, improved clinical outcomes are not guaranteed. Further, if treatment is not initiated in a timely manner, good visual outcome is reduced to approximately 50% of keratitis patients [9]. Moreover, resultant structural alterations, loss of tissue and an unresolved host response remain unaddressed through current clinical management of this condition.