Etiology

The etiology of infectious conjunctivitis differs between the newborn and the older child ( Ta.b,l.ยง..,11Z.:1). In the newborn, pathogens that reside in the birth canal play a major role in ocular infections. Chlamydia trachomatis is the most frequent, but Neisseria gonorrhoeae poses the greatest threat to the integrity of the eye. Later in childhood, the respiratory tract pathogens predominate, particularly Hemophilus species. Trachoma, a recurrent chlamydial conjunctivitis seen in tropical regions, will not be discussed.

TABLE 117-1 Etiology of Infectious Conjunctivitis

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