|Description:||This image depicted two sides of a Petri dish, which had been inoculated with specimens consisting of the right and left contact lenses, visible on the culture medium, obtained from a Missouri Fusarium keratitis-patient, and had subsequently grown a filamentous colony of Fusarium oxysporum fungal organisms. The type of agar medium in the case of this specimen was Sabouraud Dextrose (SAB). While it is not unusual for Fusarium to cause keratitis, it was the number of affected individuals, which had increased dramatically, predominantly in persons wearing contact lenses, that had warranted this epidemiologic study. The laboratory received cultures which came from two sources: Fusarium spp. isolated from the eyes of patients with fungal keratitis, and cultures from contact lenses, cases and/or lens solution.|
Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea, the front part of the eye, which has many causes including bacteria, viruses and fungi. The CDC is currently investigating reports of keratitis caused by Fusarium, which though a rare disease, can be a serious infection. This fungus is commonly found in organic matter such as soil and plants. This infection itself cannot be transmitted from person to person. People who have trauma to the eye, certain eye diseases, and problems with their immune system may be at increased risk for these types of infection.
The details of the study are being publish in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).