Understanding the science of fungal endophthalmitis – AIOS 2021 Sengamedu Srinivas Badrinath Endowment Lecture
Indian J Ophthalmol. 2022 Mar;70(3):768-777. doi: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_2329_21.
Fungal endophthalmitis is a potentially blinding condition. It is more often reported from Asia, including India. The incidence is lower than bacterial endophthalmitis. But it is relatively more challenging to treat than bacterial endophthalmitis. Many eyes may need therapeutic keratoplasty and/or evisceration. The current mainstays of treatment are vitrectomy irrespective of the presenting vision, intravitreal antifungal agents, and systemic therapy; additionally, the patients could require prolonged treatment with repeat vitreous surgeries and intravitreal injections. Difficulty in clinical diagnosis, delay in microbiological culture, and limited options of antifungal drugs make the treatment more difficult and less rewarding. Three common fungi causing endophthalmitis are Aspergillus, Fusarium, and Candida. The former two are molds, often identified in exogenous endophthalmitis, postoperative and traumatic; the latter is yeast and is more often identified in endogenous endophthalmitis. A faster diagnosis with newer molecular microbiological technologies might help institute treatment earlier than it is currently possible. A target trial using big data from different regions of the world might emulate a randomized clinical trial to design a definite treatment strategy. Given fewer antifungal drugs, one must be mindful of antifungal stewardship to prevent resistance to the existing drugs.