Purpose: To determine the concentration of amphotericin B that would be both effective against Candida albicans contamination and safe for corneal endothelial cells (CECs) in cold storage conditions.
Methods: Triplicate media cultures were inoculated with 10 colony-forming units (CFUs)/mL of C. albicans (American Type Culture Collection 10231), supplemented with amphotericin B (0-20 μg/mL), stored in cold conditions (2°C-8°C) for 72 hours, and analyzed quantitatively for CFUs. C. albicans concentration in each sample was determined initially and after 6, 24, 48, and 72 hours of storage. CEC mitochondrial function (oxygen consumption rate), apoptosis, and necrosis were examined in donor corneas after 7 days of amphotericin B exposure and compared with untreated controls. CEC viability was also examined by calcein-AM staining and Fiji segmentation after 72 hours or 2 weeks of amphotericin B exposure to mimic potential eye bank practices.
Results: Amphotericin B concentrations of 1.25, 2.5, and 5.0 μg/mL resulted in 0.47, 1.11, and 1.21 log10 CFU reduction after only 6 hours of cold storage and continued to decrease to 3.50, 3.86, and 4.49 log10 reductions after 72 hours, respectively. By contrast, amphotericin B 0.255 µg/mL showed only 1.01 log10 CFU reduction after 72 hours of incubation. CEC mitochondrial function and viability did not differ in donor corneas exposed to amphotericin B ≤2.59 μg/mL compared with the controls.
Conclusions: Optimal efficacy of amphotericin B against C. albicans is achieved in cold storage conditions at concentrations ≥1.25 μg/mL, and 2.5 μg/mL reduces Candida contamination by >90% after 6 hours of cold storage without sacrificing CEC health.