Impact of fungal species cultured on outcome in horses with fungal keratitis.


Sherman AB, Clode AB, Gilger BC
Vet Ophthalmol. 2016 Apr 7


To determine the significance of Aspergillus and Fusarium spp., as identified by culture, on clinical outcome in equine keratomycosis.


Retrospective analysis of 66 horses (66 eyes) evaluated at the NCSU-VH diagnosed with keratomycosis from which Aspergillus or Fusarium spp. were cultured. Horses were classified into those who improved with medical management alone or those who required surgical intervention to improve. Horses who underwent surgery were divided into globe-sparing procedures or enucleation. Effects of bacterial co-infection, previous topical steroid or antifungal use, and time of year on fungal genus and outcome were evaluated.


Aspergillus spp. was cultured from 41 eyes (63%), while 24 eyes (37%) cultured Fusarium spp. One horse cultured both species and was not included in further evaluation. From the horses that cultured Aspergillus spp., 28 eyes (68%) required surgical intervention to control the infection: 21 (75%) of these eyes maintained globe integrity, while 7 eyes (25%) were enucleated. Of those horses with Fusarium spp., 14 eyes (58%) required surgical intervention: 11 (79%) of these eyes maintained globe integrity, while 3 eyes (21%) were enucleated. Genus of fungus cultured was not significantly associated with the need for surgical intervention nor was it significantly associated with the necessity of globe-sparing surgery versus enucleation. Additionally, bacterial co-infection, previous steroidal or antifungal use, and time of year did not affect outcome or type of fungal species cultured.


Equine keratomycosis from Fusarium spp. compared to keratomycosis from Aspergillus spp. is not associated with a different clinical outcome.