Altered Patterns of Fungal Keratitis at a London Ophthalmic Referral Hospital: An Eight-Year Retrospective Observational Study

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Abstract

Purpose In previous studies of fungal keratitis (FK) from temperate countries, yeasts were the predominant isolates, with ocular surface disease (OSD) being the leading risk factor. Since the 2005–2006 outbreak of contact lens (CL)-associated Fusarium keratitis, there may have been a rise in CL-associated filamentary FK in the United Kingdom. This retrospective case series investigated the patterns of FK from 2007 to 2014. We compared these to 1994–2006 data from the same hospital. Design Retrospective observational study. Methods All cases of FK presenting to Moorfields Eye Hospital between 2007 and 2014 were identified. The definition of FK was either a fungal organism isolated by culture or fungal structures identified by light microscopy (LM) of scrape material, histopathology, or in vivo corneal confocal microscopy (IVCM). Main outcome measure was cases of FK per year. Results A total of 112 patients had confirmed FK. Median age was 47.2 years. Between 2007 and 2014, there was an increase in annual numbers of FK (Poisson regression, P = .0001). FK was confirmed using various modalities: 79 (70.5%) by positive culture, 16 (14.3%) by LM, and 61 (54.5%) by IVCM. Seventy-eight patients (69.6%) were diagnosed with filamentary fungus alone, 28 (25%) with yeast alone, and 6 (5.4%) with mixed filamentary and yeast infections. This represents an increase in the proportion of filamentary fungal infections from the pre-2007 data. Filamentary fungal and yeast infections were associated with CL use and OSD, respectively. Conclusions The number of FK cases has increased. This increase is due to CL-associated filamentary FK. Clinicians should be aware of these changes, which warrant epidemiologic investigations to identify modifiable risk factors.

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Ong, H. S., Fung, S. S. M., Macleod, D., Dart, J. K. G., Tuft, S. J., & Burton, M. J. (2016). Altered Patterns of Fungal Keratitis at a London Ophthalmic Referral Hospital: An Eight-Year Retrospective Observational Study. American Journal of Ophthalmology, 168, 227–236. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajo.2016.05.021

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