SAPROPHYTIC AND PATHOGENIC FUNGI OF PLANTS CAUSING FUNGAL KERATITIS IN HUMANSM. JEYA', V. UDHAYA AND R. VASUDEVAN
To analyse the role of saprophytic and pathogenic fungi of plants in causing fungal keratitis in humans. Microbiological analysis was carried out for 500 corneal ulcer (keratitis) cases excluding viral keratitis. 230 (46%) cases were found to be of fungal aetiology. History of corneal injury due to agricultural field work was seen in 161 (70%) cases. Prevalance of fungal keratitis was significantly high during harvesting seasons. The predominant fungal isolates were Fusarium species, Aspergillus species and dematiaceous fungi. Fungi of plants are getting implanted in the corneal tissue during the corneal injury due to fieldwork and cause keratitis. Corneal injury due to agricultural field work occurred in 70% of fungal keratitis. The predominant fungal isolates of keratitis are well known saprophytic or pathogenic fungi of plants. There is significant increase in the prevalence of fungal keratitis during harvesting seasons. These denote that the saprophytic or pathogenic fungi of plants are causing fungal keratitis in humans.
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