Chlorhexidine for the Treatment of Fusarium Keratitis: A Case Series and Mini Review
SourceJournal of Fungi, 7, 4, (2021), article 255
Article / Letter to editor
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Journal of Fungi
SubjectRadboudumc 12: Sensory disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience; Radboudumc 4: lnfectious Diseases and Global Health RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 4: lnfectious Diseases and Global Health RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
Fungal keratitis is difficult to treat, especially Fusarium keratitis. In vitro studies show that chlorhexidine could be an interesting option as monotherapy. We describe a case series of four patients (four eyes) with Fusarium keratitis at Radboud University Medical Center (Nijmegen, the Netherlands). The patients were treated with chlorhexidine 0.02% eye drops. The in vitro activity of eight antifungals and chlorhexidine was determined according to the European Committee on Antimicrobial Susceptibility Testing (EUCAST) broth microdilution method. We also reviewed the literature on the use of chlorhexidine in the treatment of fungal keratitis. Topical chlorhexidine was well tolerated, and all patients showed complete resolution of the keratitis upon treatment with chlorhexidine. A PubMed search of the available literature was conducted (last search 8 March 2020) and yielded two randomized clinical trials (natamycin versus chlorhexidine) and one case report addressing the treatment of fungal keratitis with chlorhexidine. Chlorhexidine was found to be safe with regard to toxicity and to be superior to natamycin in the clinical trials. Chlorhexidine showed in vitro fungicidal activity against Fusarium and clinical effectiveness in our cases, supporting further clinical evaluation. Advantages of chlorhexidine are its topical application, its general availability, its low costs, its broad-spectrum activity, and its fungicidal mechanism of action at low concentrations.
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