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Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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  • acute - Streptococcus pneumoniae; Haemophilus aegyptius (in tropical climates only); Neisseria gonorrhoeae and N. meningitidis; Haemophilus influenzae
  • chronic - Staphylococcus aureus, often as a complication of dacrocystitis or obstruction of the nasolacrimal duct

    • infection among children is caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae, Haemophilus influenzae, and Staphylococcus species
    • most adult cases of acute bacterial conjunctivitis are caused by gram-positive organisms. Staphylococcus species, including Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Streptococcus species, and Gram-negative organisms such as Escherichia coli, and Pseudomonas species
    • Neisseria infection should be suspected when severe, bilateral, purulent conjunctivitis is present in a sexually active adult or in a neonate three to five days postpartum


  • Streptococci pyogenes, Escherichia coli, Corynebacterium diphtheriae, Mycobacterium tuberculosis


  1. Morrow GL, Abbot RL. Conjunctivitis. Am Fam Physician. 1998 Feb 15;57(4):735-46.

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