Donor-to-host transmission of Candida albicans after corneal transplantation

Am J Ophthalmol. 2002 Jul;134(1):120-1. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(02)01427-7.


Purpose: To report donor-to-host transmission of Candida albicans after penetrating keratoplasty.

Design: Interventional case report.

Methods: A 15-year-old boy who underwent penetrating keratoplasty for keratoconus with donor tissue from a drowning victim developed keratitis and a lenticular abscess 26 days postoperatively.

Results: Candida albicans was cultured from the donor rim and the recipient cornea. Antifungal sensitivity profiles were identical for the two isolates. DNA profiles were identical for both isolates, confirming the donor as the source of the infection.

Conclusion: This case demonstrates the value of routine culture of corneal donor rims and the advisability of close follow-up and possible antifungal prophylaxis when donor rims are positive for fungus.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Amphotericin B / therapeutic use
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Candida albicans / drug effects
  • Candida albicans / genetics
  • Candida albicans / isolation & purification*
  • Candidiasis / microbiology
  • Candidiasis / therapy
  • Candidiasis / transmission*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • DNA, Fungal / analysis
  • Disease Transmission, Infectious*
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / microbiology
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / therapy
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / transmission*
  • Humans
  • Keratitis / microbiology*
  • Keratitis / therapy
  • Keratoconus / surgery*
  • Keratoplasty, Penetrating / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Recurrence
  • Reoperation
  • Tissue Donors


  • Antifungal Agents
  • DNA, Fungal
  • Amphotericin B