Postoperative Endophthalmitis Caused by Cutibacterium (Formerly Propionibacterium) Acnes: Case Series and Review

Benjamin J. Fowler, Darlene Miller, Xiaohe Yan, Nicolas A. Yannuzzi, Harry W. Flynn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


We report the clinical features, treatment strategies and outcomes in a series of patients with infectious endophthalmitis after cataract surgery caused by Cutibacterium acnes (C. acnes), formerly known as Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes). This retrospective case series includes six eyes of six patients with chronic postoperative endophthalmitis caused by culture-proven C. acnesfrom December 2010 to July 2019 at a University referral center. All patients underwent prior cataract extraction with intraocular lens (CE/IOL) implantation. The mean time between cataract surgery and the microbiologic diagnosis of endophthalmitis was 7.4 ± 5.2 months (range 1.5-17 months). The average time from obtaining the specimen to culture positivity was 7.7 ± 4.4 days (range 3-15 days). Three eyes (50%) presented with hypopyon and three eyes (50%) presented with prominent keratic precipitates without hypopyon. Presenting visual acuity ranged from 20/25 to 2/200. Initial treatments included intravitreal antibiotics alone (n = 2), pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) with partial capsulectomy and intravitreal antibiotics (n = 3), and pars plana vitrectomy with IOL removal and intravitreal antibiotics (n = 1). Follow-up treatments included IOL removal (n = 2), intravitreal antibiotics (n = 1), and topical antibiotics (n = 1). The best-corrected visual acuity at last follow-up was 20/70 or better in all patients. In a literature review, the clinical features and treatment outcomes for all case series of delayed-onset postoperative endophthalmitis caused by C. acnes(n = 120) are listed. A definitive cure (the absence of recurrent inflammation) was achieved in 100% of patients that underwent IOL removal, in 77% of those that underwent PPV/partial capsulectomy and intravitreal antibiotics, and in 18% of cases treated with intravitreal antibiotics alone. Endophthalmitis after CE/IOL caused by C. acnesis characterized by slowly progressive intraocular inflammation and has a protracted course from surgery to microbiologic diagnosis. Visual outcomes are generally favorable, but IOL explantation may be necessary for definitive cure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalCase Reports in Ophthalmology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Chronic endophthalmitis
  • Cutibacterium acnes
  • Delayed endophthalmitis
  • Postoperative endophthalmitis
  • Propionibacterium acnes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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