METHODS: This is a retrospective study on patients presenting with microbial keratitis in Miri, Sarawak, Borneo over a 7-year period from January 1, 2010 until December 31, 2016. Demographic data, predisposing factors, culture and sensitivity results together with treatment outcomes were studied.
RESULTS: There were a total of 221 cases treated as microbial keratitis with a peak age group of 21 to 30 years. The predisposing factors were trauma (49.3%), improper contact lens usage (29.1%), ocular surface diseases (5.9%), ocular surgeries (0.9%), drugs (1.8%), and other factors (19.0%). Occupational injuries among oil palm plantation workers was the leading cause within the trauma cohort (28.8%). Corneal scraping was performed in 189 cases, 61.4% of them yielded positive cultures. The cultures demonstrated that 49.1% were of bacterial origin, 46.6% were fungal, and 4.3% showed mixed growth. The most common bacteria isolated was Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which was sensitive toward ceftazidime and gentamicin antibiotics. One hundred ninety-two cases (86.9%) were treated with purely topical medication, whereas 29 cases (13.1%) required further interventions.
CONCLUSION: The commonest predisposing factor for microbial keratitis was trauma. With the nearby oil palm industries, we report a corresponding increase of incidence in fungal keratitis at our center. Culture and sensitivity reports from corneal scrapings are essential in treatment guidance; however, more than a third of the microbial keratitis cases studied were culture-negative. The organisms cultured reflect the profile expected in tropical climates. Fortunately, there was no increase in resistance rates observed for the commonly used antibiotics.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Two ORFeome phage display libraries of the entire Leptospira spp. genomes from five local strains isolated in Malaysia and seven WHO reference strains were constructed. Subsequently, 18 unique Leptospira peptides were identified in a screen using a pool of sera from patients with acute leptospirosis. Five of these were validated by titration ELISA using different pools of patient or control sera. The diagnostic performance of these five peptides was then assessed against 16 individual sera from patients with acute leptospirosis and 16 healthy donors and was compared to that of two recombinant reference proteins from L. interrogans. This analysis revealed two peptides (SIR16-D1 and SIR16-H1) from the local isolates with good accuracy for the detection of acute leptospirosis (area under the ROC curve: 0.86 and 0.78, respectively; sensitivity: 0.88 and 0.94; specificity: 0.81 and 0.69), which was close to that of the reference proteins LipL32 and Loa22 (area under the ROC curve: 0.91 and 0.80; sensitivity: 0.94 and 0.81; specificity: 0.75 and 0.75).
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This analysis lends further support for using ORFeome phage display to identify pathogen-associated immunogenic peptides, and it suggests that this technique holds promise for the development of peptide-based diagnostics for leptospirosis and, possibly, of vaccines against this pathogen.