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.