Anatomic characterization of the ocular surface microbiome in children

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The microbiome is important in the evolution of the immune system in children; however, information is lacking regarding the composition of the pediatric ocular microbiome and its surrounding structures. A prospective, cross-sectional study of the ocular microbiome was conducted in children <18 years old. Samples from the inferior conjunctival fornix of both eyes, eyelid margin, and periocular skin underwent DNA amplification and 16S sequencing using Illumina MiSeq 250. The microbiome was analyzed using Qiime. Statistical analysis was performed using a two-sided Student’s t-test, diversity indices, and principal coordinate analysis. A total of 15 children were enrolled. The ocular surface microbiome was predominantly composed of Proteobacteria, whereas Bacteroidetes dominated the eyelid margin, and Firmicutes dominated the periocular skin. Despite these variations, no statistically significant compositional differences were found with Bray-Curtis analysis. The conjunctiva had the lowest Shannon diversity index with a value of 2.3, which was significantly lower than those of the eyelid margin (3.4, p = 0.01) and the periocular skin (3.5, p = 0.001). However, the evenness of the species using Faith’s phylogenetic diversity index was similar at all sites. Overall, the ocular surface microbiome is dominated by Proteobacteria in children. The niche is similar to the surrounding structures in terms of composition, but has a lower number and relative abundance of species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number259
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • Children
  • Composition
  • Eyelid
  • Microbiome
  • Ocular surface
  • Skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Virology
  • Microbiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Anatomic characterization of the ocular surface microbiome in children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this