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September 1964

Corneal Lesions Produced in Rabbits by an Extract of Fusarium Moniliforme

Author Affiliations

Morgantown, WVa
From the departments of microbiology and pathology, Duke University School of Medicine, and the Veterans Administration Hospital, Durham, NC.
Present address: Division of Preventive Medicine, West Virginia University School of Medicine (Dr. Chick).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1964;72(3):346-350. doi:10.1001/archopht.1964.00970020346012

Mycotic ulcerative keratitis was first described by Leber in 1879.1 A number of case reports followed over the next few years. Few cases were reported from 1915 to 1950, but many cases have been reported since 1950. These cases apparently were associated with the widespread use of corticosteroid and antibiotic preparations.2-5

Mycokeratitis can be reproduced experimentally in animals, particularly with concomitant corticosteroid administration.6-9 The necrosis and ulceration which occur in this lesion have suggested that a substance or substances elaborated by the fungus may play an important role in pathogenesis.3,8 Since the cornea is approximately 85% collagen and 15% mucopolysaccharide in composition, it has been postulated that the fungal substance is proteolytic in nature. Burda and Fisher10 found that an extract of Cephalosporium species would produce corneal destruction in two to four hours, with opacification, liquefaction, and ulceration. In vitro studies indicated that a proteinase

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