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Ocular Surface Disease

Microbes may play a role in the development of dry eye disease

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Researchers identified microbial species that are more prevalent in patients with dry eye disease. Much investigation has been done on the role of gut microbiota and its impact on health, and researchers suggest that the eye microbiota may similarly influence ophthalmic health.

Thirty individuals volunteered to participate in the study. Researchers performed 16S rRNA sequencing and bioinformatic analysis to assess the microbiome for healthy versus dry eye individuals.

Streptococcus and Pedobacter bacteria species were the most prevalent microbes in healthy eyes, whereas Acinetobacter species were abundant in the eye microbiomes of people with dry eye disease.

“We think the metabolites produced by these bacteria are responsible for dry eye conditions,” said Pallavi Sharma, a graduate student in the Stephen F. Austin State University laboratory. “We are performing further research to understand the metabolic pathways associated with the Acinetobacter to better understand the disease.”

The researchers said they plan to explore the gut microbiome of patients with dry eye disease to explore its potential relationship with the eye microbiome.

Reference

More than meets the eye: researchers uncover the microbial secrets of dry eye. EurekAlert. March 26, 2024. Accessed April 29, 2024. https://www.eurekalert.org/news-releases/1037703

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