Clinical and microbial spectrum of fungal keratitis in Singapore: a 5-year retrospective study

Int Ophthalmol. 1997;21(3):127-30. doi: 10.1023/a:1026462631716.


Background: The epidemiology of fungal keratitis varies geographically, but commonly occurs in warm, tropical climates. To determine the microbial and clinical characteristics of this disease in Singapore, we conducted a 5-year hospital-based retrospective study.

Methods: A retrospective review of culture-positive fungal keratitis at the Singapore National Eye Center and Singapore General Hospital, from January 1991 to December 1995.

Results: Twenty-nine consecutive cases of culture-positive fungal keratitis were seen over the study period. The mean age of the cases was 41 years and 23 were males. Amongst the varied occupations, 9 were construction workers. The most common cultured organisms were Fusarium sp. (52%) and Aspergillus flavus (17%). More than half had a history of ocular trauma prior to the development of keratitis, while a quarter had antecedent topical corticosteroid therapy. In contrast, only 2 patients were contact-lens wearers. Despite medical therapy, 10 patients eventually required therapeutic penetrating keratoplasties; of these, 6 were caused by Fusarium species.

Conclusion: Fusarium is the commonest cultured organism in fungal keratitis in Singapore and is associated with significant ocular morbidity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antifungal Agents / therapeutic use
  • Aspergillosis / epidemiology
  • Aspergillosis / microbiology
  • Aspergillosis / therapy
  • Aspergillus flavus / isolation & purification*
  • Cornea / microbiology*
  • Cornea / pathology
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / epidemiology
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / microbiology*
  • Eye Infections, Fungal / therapy
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fusarium / isolation & purification*
  • Humans
  • Keratitis / epidemiology
  • Keratitis / microbiology*
  • Keratitis / therapy
  • Keratoplasty, Penetrating
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Singapore / epidemiology
  • Visual Acuity


  • Antifungal Agents