Antibiotics may fight dry eye
Sunday, January 19 2014 | 00 h 00 min | News
Researchers believe they have identified a potential therapy for meibomian gland dysfunction.
“We discovered that azithromycin, an antibiotic, can directly stimulate the function of human meibomian gland epithelial cells,” said researcher Yang Liu, first author of the paper published in JAMA Ophthalmology.
This antibiotic is already the most commonly prescribed treatment for meibomian gland dysfunction in the United States. However, its effectiveness had not yet been scientifically demonstrated, and its use for this purpose is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Doctors have presumed that this antibiotic would be effective, due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial actions, which may suppress posterior blepharitis and curb the growth of eyelid bacteria.
“We hypothesized that azithromycin could act directly on human meibomian gland epithelial cells to stimulate their differentiation, enhance the quality and quantity of their lipid production, and promote their holocrine secretion. Our results support this hypothesis,” said Dr. David Sullivan.