Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2021 Apr 15:1-8. doi: 10.1080/09286586.2021.1914667. Online ahead of print.
Purpose: The current study evaluates the epidemiological characteristics, risk factors, and microbiological diagnosis of fungal keratitis among patients living in the Egyptian Delta.Methods: This is a prospective hospital-based study that included patients who were clinically diagnosed and confirmed by culture test to have fungal keratitis. Patients were examined at baseline and risk factors were identified and collected. Patients were followed over 6 months and the outcomes were documented.Results: A total of 171 (67%) of 252 microbial keratitis patients was proved fungal by microbial culture test. Rural residence and agricultural activity were reported in 139 (81.3%) and 85 (49.7%) patients, respectively. Patients presented within 1 week from the start of symptoms were 120 (70.2%). A total of 54 (31.6%) patients reported ocular trauma. Forty patients (23.4%) had prior ocular surgery and 43 (25.1%) patients had a history of previous ocular disorders. Aspergillus species was the most common organism found in 120 (70.17%) patients, followed by Dematiceous fungi that were found in 25 (14.6%) patients. The main outcome was corneal opacity in 132 (77.2%) patients following medical treatment.Conclusion: Filamentary fungal predominance in Mansoura is influenced by the rural residence of its population. Therefore, more efforts in spreading awareness about microbial keratitis among villagers are important to reduce blindness caused by corneal opacity in rural areas.