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Ning Hung, Lung-Kun Yeh, David Hui-Kang Ma, Hsin-Chiung Lin, Hsin-Yuan Tan, Hung-Chi Chen, Pei-Lun Sun, Ching-Hsi Hsiao; Filamentous Fungal Keratitis in Taiwan: Based on Molecular Diagnosis. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2020;9(8):32. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.8.32.
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To analyze the epidemiological pattern, demographics, risk factors, and treatment outcomes of filamentous fungal keratitis at a tertiary hospital in Taiwan.
We recruited 65 patients (65 eyes) with culture-proven filamentous fungal keratitis who received diagnosis and treatment at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital between 2015 and 2018. All isolates were examined through conventional morphological identification and subjected to molecular identification with internal transcribed spacer sequencing. Data on patient demographics, predisposing factors, and treatment outcomes were collected.
In total, filamentous fungi belonged to 16 genera were identified. Fusarium spp. (29 cases [44.6%]) was the most commonly isolated organism overall, followed by Colletotrichum spp. and Purpureocillium linacinum (seven cases [10.8% for each]), and Aspergillus spp. (six cases [9.2%]). Some fungi that have not been regarded as human pathogens were also identified, such as Paracremonium and Phellinum. Among 52 (80%) patients with predisposing factors, 30 (46.2%) had trauma. The ulcers of 33 (50.8%) patients resolved with medical treatment only. Additionally, six patients (9.2%) had corneal perforation, and nine patients (13.9%) required therapeutic/destructive surgical interventions including therapeutic penetrating keratoplasty (seven patients) or evisceration (two patients). Only 16 patients (24.6%) had final visual acuity of 20/40 or better.
Through molecular diagnosis, a high diversity of fungal pathogens was revealed along with an increasing incidence of Colletotrichum spp. and Purpureocillium spp. in Taiwan. The most common risk factor for filamentous fungal keratitis was trauma. The visual outcomes were guarded.
The molecular diagnosis provides insight into accurate identification, which affects the epidemiology and diversity of pathogens of filamentous fungal keratitis.
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