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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 605308, 10 pages
Clinical Study

Microscopic Evaluation, Molecular Identification, Antifungal Susceptibility, and Clinical Outcomes in Fusarium, Aspergillus and, Dematiaceous Keratitis

1Department of Microbiology and Biotechnology Centre, Faculty of Science, M. S. University of Baroda, Vadodara 390 002, India
2Iladevi Cataract and IOL Research Centre, Ahmedabad, Gujarat 380052, India

Received 30 April 2013; Revised 22 July 2013; Accepted 16 August 2013

Academic Editor: Kelvin To

Copyright © 2013 Devarshi U. Gajjar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. Fusarium, Aspergillus, and Dematiaceous are the most common fungal species causing keratitis in tropical countries. Herein we report a prospective study on fungal keratitis caused by these three fungal species. Methodology. A prospective investigation was undertaken to evaluate eyes with presumed fungal keratitis. All the fungal isolates ( ) obtained from keratitis infections were identified using morphological and microscopic characters. Molecular identification using sequencing of the ITS region and antifungal susceptibility tests using microdilution method were done. The final clinical outcome was evaluated in terms of the time taken for resolution of keratitis and the final visual outcome. The results were analyzed after segregating the cases into three groups, namely, Fusarium, Aspergillus, and Dematiaceous keratitis. Results. Diagnosis of fungal keratitis was established in 73 (35.9%) cases out of 208 cases. The spectra of fungi isolated were Fusarium spp. (26.6%), Aspergillus spp. (21.6%), and Dematiaceous fungi (11.6%). The sequence of the ITS region could identify the Fusarium and Aspergillus species at the species complex level, and the Dematiaceous isolates were accurately identified. Using antifungal agents such as fluconazole, natamycin, amphotericin B, and itraconazole, the minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) for Fusarium spp. were >32 μg/mL, 4–8 μg/mL, 0.5–1 μg/mL, and >32 μg/mL, respectively. Antifungal susceptibility data showed that Curvularia spp. was highly resistant to all the antifungal agents. Overall, natamycin and amphotericin B were found to be the most effective antifungal agents. The comparative clinical outcomes in all cases showed that the healing response in terms of visual acuity of the Dematiaceous group was significantly good when compared with the Fusarium and Aspergillus groups ( ). The time required for healing in the Fusarium group was statistically significantly less when compared with the Aspergillus and Dematiaceous groups. Conclusion. This study demonstrates important differences in microscopic features of scraping material and antifungal susceptibility between the three groups. Early and accurate identification coupled with the MIC data, and thereby appropriate treatment is crucial for complete recovery.