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Patients were excluded from the study if they were subject to any of the following conditions, which could possibly interfere with the results of the study: use of eye drops, any ocular surgeries or laser treatments performed in the past in the eye from which the specimens were to be collected, present or prior treatment with glucocorticosteroids or immunosuppressive therapy (if these treatments had not been stopped at least 1 year before the surgery and collection of specimens), use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (with the exception of low-dose aspirin, which had to be stopped 7 days before the surgery and collection of specimens), and prior and concurrent systemic antibiotic treatment during the last 7 days before the start of the study.