Russell N Van Gelder, MD, Prof Steve Wesselingh , Dr Paul Badenoch , Dr Matt Ball , Dr Jo Richards
Aim: To promote understanding of ocular and systemic microbiota and associated microbial ecol- ogy, in order to develop skills in contemporary evidence-based use of antimicrobials, prebiotics and probiotics while fostering engagement in antimicrobial stewardship.
Background: Growing evidence supports the importance of the ocular, gut and other systemic microbiomes, in interacting with the immune system, suppressing, triggering and / or perpet- uating ocular surface and intraocular inﬂammation. Patients expect (and value) evidence-based advice on diet, lifestyle and alternative options. Ocular infection can be devastating. Antimi- crobial resistance is an emerging problem. Effective and mindful use of antimicrobials is a vital aspect of ophthalmic practice. This course is part of a 3 year antimicrobial stewardship education program. It forms one of the teaching modules within the second antimicrobial stewardship audit cycle driven by the WA branch and open to all RANZCO fellows. This course will update ophthalmologists on state of the art molecular microbiology including next generation sequencing, 16S analysis, culture and current diagnostic and experimental techniques. Attendees will gain an understanding of important aspects of microbial ecology, pathogenicity and host-microbial interaction as they relate to ocular and associated systemic diseases. As the role of prebiotics, probiotics, diet and lifestyle assumes prominence in con- temporary popular and medical literature, a focus on current evidence will provide ophthal- mologists with the necessary understanding to offer useful advice to patients. A concise antimicrobial update will guide clinicians in the effective use of prescribing resources with speciﬁc focus on common agents used in prophylaxis and treatment.