A comparative study of the conjunctival bacterial normal flora in Paediatric and Geriatric subjects

Amaechi, O. U. And Inyanga, P. C.


The conjunctival bacterial normal flora of twenty healthy paediatric and twenty healthy geriatric subjects was studied. Conjunctival swabs were collected from paediatric subjects aged 2 months to 6 years, and geriatric subjects aged 60years and above. The specimens were inoculated unto blood agar and incubated for 24-48 hour as the case may be. They were subsequently subjected to physical examinations using +20.00D magnifying lens; and biochemical tests using gram staining and coagulase test. Thirteen
(32.5%) of the 40 samples yielded growth (3 paediatric and 10 geriatric samples). The total number of colonies was 37 in paediatric and 217 in geriatric samples. Staphylococcus epidermidis was the most predominant bacterial organism. The X test showed significant (P<0.05) difference in the bacterial normal flora of paediatric and geriatric samples, both in the presence of isolates and the number of colonies. The absence of growth in the majority of the samples is because of the sterile nature of the normal conjunctiva. The effect of age on the conjunctival bacterial normal flora is further highlighted.

Keywords: Bacterial normal flora, Conjunctiva, Paediatric subjects, Geriatric subjects, Staphylococcus.

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