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J Infect Dis. 2004 Jul 1;190(1):192-8. Epub 2004 Jun 8.

Immunosuppression affects the severity of experimental Fusarium solani keratitis.

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Sid W. Richardson Ocular Microbiology Laboratory, Cullen Eye Institute, Department of Ophthalmology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


We have established a mouse model of corneal fusariosis that permits the evaluation of fungal infection and pathogenesis. Corneas of immunocompetent and cyclophosphamide-treated adult BALB/c mice were topically inoculated with Fusarium solani after corneal scarification. Eyes were scored for corneal involvement daily for 8 days and at 2 weeks after infection. Eyes were enucleated at various time points for quantitative fungal recovery and histopathological examination. An inoculum-dose response was observed in cyclophosphamide-treated mice, and fungi were recovered from the infected eyes by quantitative microbial culturing. Treatment with cyclophosphamide increased disease severity and delayed fungal clearance. Fungal hyphae, inflammatory cells, and stromal edema were histologically evident within corneal tissue and correlated with disease severity. Although the mouse cornea resists fungal infections, F. solani keratitis could be induced in immunosuppressed mice after surface scarification, which resulted in infection and clinical disease that could be evaluated both in vivo and in vitro.

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