Ocular Surface Microbiome, Virome, and Pathogens in Ophthalmic Disease and Health
Location(s): United States
Ocular infections remain an important cause of blindness worldwide and represent a challenging public health concern. This project takes advantage of advances in next-generation sequencing to enhance our understanding of the causes of ocular infections by characterizing the bacterial and viral communities of the ocular surface. These studies have the potential to improve the current diagnostic paradigm and guide targeted interventions for ocular infections.
The first aim will evaluate the use of a next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based approach as a viable clinical diagnostic test for ocular infections. These experiments will directly compare NGS to the current conventional molecular diagnostics using archived intraocular samples. Prospectively collected aqueous samples will then be assessed for potential pathogens.
The second aim will characterize the effects of antibiotics on the bacterial and viral communities using samples collected in a large randomized controlled trial. These studies have the potential to improve the diagnostic paradigm and guide targeted interventions for ocular infections.