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A Review of Antimicrobial Therapy for Infectious Uveitis of the Posterior Segment

Ahmed B Sallam, Kyle A. Kirkland, Richard Barry, Mohamed Kamel Soliman, Tayyeba K Ali, Sue Lightman


Treatment of infectious posterior uveitis represents a therapeutic challenge for ophthalmologists. The eye is a privileged site, maintained by blood ocular barriers, which limits penetration of systemic antimicrobials into the posterior segment. In addition, topical and subconjunctival therapies are incapable of producing sufficient drug concentrations, intraocularly. Posterior infectious uveitis can be caused by bacteria, virus, fungi, or protozoa. Mode of treatment varies greatly based on the infectious etiology. Certain drugs have advantages over others in the treatment of infectious uveitis. Topical and systemic therapies are often employed in the treatment of ocular infection, yet the route of treatment can have limitations based on penetration, concentration, and duration. The introduction of intravitreal antimicrobial therapy has advanced the management of intraocular infections. Being able to bypass blood-ocular barriers allows high drug concentrations to be delivered directly to the posterior segment with minimal systemic absorption. However, because the difference between the therapeutic and the toxic doses of some antimicrobial drugs falls within a narrow concentration range, intravitreal therapy could be associated with ocular toxicity risks.  In many cases of infectious uveitis, combination of intravitreal and systemic therapies are necessary. In this comprehensive review, the authors aimed at reviewing clinically relevant data regarding intraocular and systemic antimicrobial therapy for posterior segment infectious uveitis. The review also discussed the evolving trends in intraocular treatment, and elaborated on antibiotic pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, efficacy, and adverse effects.


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