The Prevalence and Etiology of Ophthalmia Neonatorum among Hospital-Born Babies in Tehran, Iran


avatar mohammad soltanzadeh 1 , * , avatar Fariba Shirvani 2 , avatar Zhaleh Rajavi 3 , avatar Afshin Behzadifar 4 , avatar Amir Hooshangh Arbabi 5 , avatar Naser Badami 6 , avatar Malihe Khodami 7 , avatar Fatemeh Ashrafi 8

Professor of Pediatrics, Tehran, Iran
Assistant Professor of pediatrics, Imam Hossein Hospital
Professor of Ophthalmology, Department of Ophthalmology, Imam
Pediatrician, Tehran, Iran
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, Shaheed Akbar Abadi Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University M.C
Associate Professor of Microbiology, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences and Health Services
Assistant Professor of Pathology, Department of Pathology, Imam Hossien Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University M.C
Clinical Laboratory Specialist, Resalat Hospital, Tehran, Iran

how to cite: soltanzadeh M, Shirvani F, Rajavi Z, Behzadifar A , Arbabi A H, et al. The Prevalence and Etiology of Ophthalmia Neonatorum among Hospital-Born Babies in Tehran, Iran. J Compr Ped. 2007;1(2):e93746.


Background: To determine the prevalence rate of ophthalmia neonatorum and its bacterial and chlamydial causes among hospital-born babies in three medical centers in Tehran, during 2001–2002.
Materials and Methods: This descriptive study was performed on 3140 hospital-born babies including 1699 male and 1441 female subjects. All newborns were examined and followed up to the age 30 days after discharge for the signs of conjunctivitis. In the cases of ophthalmia neonatorum, the bacterial etiology was verified by examination of smears and cultures of ophthalmic exudates and Chlamydia Tracomatis was verified by direct immunofluorescent (DIF) microscopy. 
Results: There were 170 cases of ophthalmia neonatorum (5.4%). Exudate smears were positive for Gram positive cocci in 20.6%, Gram –ive bacilli in 8.8%, and Gram negative cocci in 1.8% and were negative in 68.8%. The most frequent microorganisms found based on cultures were: coagulaseive staphylococci (15.3%), Staphylococcus epidermidis (13.5%), E. coli (7.6%), and Staphylococcus aureus (5.9%), but there was no growth in 48.2% of the cultures. DIF samples were positive for Chlamydia trachomatis in 10 cases (5.9%). Most of the affected babies were male (62.4%) and more than 75% were born through normal vaginal delivery (NVD). Premature rupture of membranes (PROM) was the most common maternal precipitating factor (10%).
Conclusion: The prevalence rate of ophthalmia neonatorum among hospital-born babies in Tehran is considerable and neonates born to mothers with PROM through NVD, especially the male newborns should be carefully observed for development of ophthalmia neonatorum.



  • 1.

    The references are available in PDF file.

© 2007, Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.