MBBS Study

What is ophthalmia neonatorum? Tell its treatment in brief.

Ophthalmia neonatorum:

Purulent conjunctivitis – occurring during the 1st month of life.

Ophthalmia neonatorum(2):

It is a purulent conjunctivitis develops within 2 weeks of birth as the result of infection transmitted from mother to infant during delivery.

[Ref: Kanski/6th/223]

Ophthalmia Neonatorum

[Extra answer:

Causative organisms ophthalmia neonatorum:

  • Chlamydia trachomatis- most common
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Balantidium coli
  • Neisseria gonorrhoeae – is now uncommon        ]

Treatment of Ophthalmia neonatorum:


  1. Chlamydial infection: Oral erythromycin for 2 weeks. In addition, erythromycin or tetracycline ointment.
  2. Gonococcal infection: Ceftriaxone intravenously or intramuscularly or cefotaxime.
  3. Other bacterial infections: Chloramphenicol or neomycin ointment 6 hourly. Systemic antibiotics may be considered in severe cases.
  4. Herpes simplex: Systemic Acyclovir for 14 days and topical Acyclovir 5 time daily.


  1. Povidone-iodine 2.5% is a cheap and effective agent against all of the common pathogens that cause ophthalmia neonatorum.
  2. Erythromycin 0.5% ointment or tetracycline 1% ointment is used by someone.

[Ref: Kanski/6th/225]

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