Methods of pathogen diagnostics in ophthalmology - from culture, to PCR, to next generation sequencing



Conventional diagnostic methods are compared to Next Generation Sequencing by an evaluation of their sensitivity, specivity, duration and costs. This comparison is made using two pathologies: Keratitis and Endophthalmitis.


A literature search was conducted resulting in 273 results. The research was limited to the last five years, case reports and animal studies were excluded. 243 were excluded because they did not provide information of the sensitivity, spezifity, duration or costs. 30 publications remained, 15 for keratitis and 15 for endophthalmitis.


At the moment, only the the evaluation of diagnostic methods of keratitis is done, the evaluation of diagnostic methods of endophthalmitis will follow. The sensitivity is shown to be highest with NGS, followed by PCR and culture. The specificity is bordering on 100% for all methods. The process of culture has the longest duration.


The final conclusions can only be drawn after the evaluation of the diagnostic methods of endophthalmitis. Regarding keratitis, PCR and NGS could be used as supplements when culture does not provide results.

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