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Molecular characterization, biofilm analysis and experimental biofouling study of Fusarium isolates from recent cases of fungal keratitis in New York State

Author(s): Dyavaiah Madhu | Ramani Rama | Chu David | Ritterband David | Shah Mahendra | Samsonoff William | Chaturvedi Sudha | Chaturvedi Vishnu

Journal: BMC Ophthalmology
ISSN 1471-2415

Volume: 7;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Abstract Background To characterize Fusarium isolates from recent cases of fungal keratitis in contact lens wearers, and to investigate fungal association with MoistureLoc solution. Methods We studied six fungal isolates from recent cases of keratitis in New York State. The isolates were characterized by nucleotide sequencing and phylogenetic analyses of multiple genes, and then typed using minisatellite and microsatellite probes. Experimental fungal biofilm formation was tested by standard methods. MoistureLoc solutions were tested in biofouling studies for their efficacy in elimination of Fusarium contamination. Results Fusarium solani – corneal ulcers (2 isolates), lens case (1 isolate), and F. oxysporum – corneal ulcer (1 isolate), eye (1 isolate), were recovered from five patients. An opened bottle of MoistureLoc solution provided by a patient also yielded F. solani. Two distinct genotypes of F. solani as well as of F. oxysporum were present in the isolated strains. Remarkably, F. solani strains from the lens case and lens solution in one instance were similar, based on phylogenetic analyses and molecular typing. The solution isolate of F. solani formed biofilm on contact lenses in control conditions, but not when co-incubated with MoistureLoc solution. Both freshly opened and 3-month old MoistureLoc solutions effectively killed F. solani and F. oxysporum, when fungal contamination was simulated under recommended lens treatment regimen (4-hr). However, simulation of inappropriate use (15 – 60 min) led to the recovery of less than 1% of original inoculum of F. solani or F. oxysporum. Conclusion Temporary survival of F. solani and F. oxysporum in MoistureLoc suggested that improper lens cleaning regimen could be a possible contributing factor in recent infections.
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