- Ophthalmia neonatorum is a frequent form of infection in the first month of life and represents a threat to vision . The most common infectious agents are: Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae and herpes simplex virus . The infection is usually restricted to the eye but can also spread systemically and cause arthritis, septicemia and meningitis . N. gonorrhoeae was a more common cause of conjunctivitis in the past, but due to the widespread use of 1% silver nitrate following the observations of CredeÂ in 1881, its prevalence as a causative agent of ophthalmia neonatorum has decreased in the industrial world from 10% to 0.3%. As a result of extensive antenatal and postnatal care in industrialized countries and screening for sexually transmitted diseases, prophylaxis has been largely abandoned, including at our medical center.