The changing spectrum of fungal keratitis in south Florida

Ophthalmology. 1994 Jun;101(6):1005-13. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(94)31225-5.


Purpose: To review the clinical experience with fungal keratitis in south Florida over a 10-year period.

Methods: One hundred twenty-five cases of fungal keratitis were identified in the microbiology laboratory records between January 1982 and January 1992. The medical record of each patient was reviewed.

Results: The most commonly associated risk factor was trauma (44%). Fungal keratitis developed in five patients using extended wear contact lenses and one patient wearing a therapeutic bandage contact lens. Clinical features included irregular, feathery margins (62%), a dry, rough texture (47%), and satellite lesions (41%). An initial positive culture was obtained in 90% of patients, with a majority of cultures becoming positive within 48 hours. The Fusarium sp accounted for 62% of the isolates, with Fusarium oxysporum being the most commonly isolated organism. New fungal isolates include Candida parapsilosis, Aspergillus terreus, Candida tropicalis, and Trichosporon beigellii. Natamycin 5% suspension was the initial antifungal agent used for 91% of the patients, with an average duration of treatment of 38 days. Twenty-five patients were treated with oral ketoconazole for a median duration of 2 weeks, in addition to topical antifungal therapy. Thirty-four patients (27%) required a penetrating keratoplasty. Six patients had recurrence of fungal keratitis after penetrating keratoplasty.

Conclusions: Trauma, including contact lens wear, is the most commonly associated risk factor. The fungal organisms can be readily identified in culture. F. oxysporum is the most common organism, with new isolates identified. The mainstay of therapy is topical natamycin with the increasing use of imidazoles.

MeSH terms

  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / epidemiology*
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / pathology
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / therapy
  • Female
  • Florida / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Keratitis / epidemiology*
  • Keratitis / microbiology
  • Keratitis / pathology
  • Keratitis / therapy
  • Keratoplasty, Penetrating
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Seasons


  • Antifungal Agents