Correlation between pathogenic species and clinical findings, disease severity, and visual outcome in patients with fungal keratitis

ABSTRACT Purpose: To determine whether a correlation exists between pathogenic species and clinical findings, disease severity, and visual outcome in patients with keratitis and fungal growth in microbiological culture. Methods: A retrospective study of patients with fungal growth in the microbiological culture of corneal scrapings. Patients were treated at an ophthalmologic reference center in Southeastern Brazil from January 1992 to October 2015. Results: Medical records of 181 patients (131 males and 50 females) with a mean age of 47 ± 18 years were analyzed. The three most common etiologies were Fusarium sp. (38.7%), Aspergillus sp. (15%), and Candida sp. (13.2%). Among these, Fusarium sp. was the most frequent in patients aged £50 years (p=0.002) and in those with a recent history of a foreign body and/or ocular trauma (p=0.01). Candida sp. was the most frequent etiology in patients aged >50 years (p=0.002), in those with postoperative ocular surgery (p=0.002); in those with a previous ocular pathology (p=0.0007); and in immunodepressed patients (p=0.0004). Conclusion: Fusarium sp. was predominant in patients aged £50 years and those with a recent history of foreign body and/or ocular trauma, whereas Candida sp. was predominant in older adults, in those with a postoperative ocular surgery, in those with a previous ocular pathology, and in immunodepressed patients.