Purpose: To investigate voriconazole (VRZ) penetration and fungal load in the cornea after applying VRZ therapy with various treatment combinations in a fungal keratitis model.
Methods: Fifty-four eyes of 27 young albino rabbits were provided for this experimental study. Twelve corneas were inoculated with Candida albicans, 12 corneas were inoculated with Fusarium solani, and 6 eyes were selected as controls. Infected corneas received various treatment combinations including VRZ 1% drop therapy alone, VRZ 1% plus amphotericin B 1% drop combination therapy, iontophoretic VRZ therapy, and VRZ 1% drop therapy after corneal cross-linking. Fungal load was measured by log reduction, and VRZ levels were quantified by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.
Results: Iontophoresis-assisted VRZ application showed the highest antifungal activity against F. solani keratitis (4-log reduction) and C. albicans keratitis (5-log reduction) compared with other treatment applications. VRZ levels were also found to be the highest in corneas that received iontophoretic VRZ treatment (3.6313 ± 0.0990 ppb for F.solani keratitis and 1.7001 ± 0.0065 ppb for C. albicans keratitis) compared with other treatment applications.
Conclusions: Iontophoresis seems to provide the highest VRZ concentration and highest antifungal activity in the cornea compared with other treatment applications for C. albicans and F. solani keratitis.