Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy of corneal cross-linking (CXL) (riboflavin–UV-A) as a simple therapy in Fusarium keratitis.
Methods: Twenty-four rabbits were systemically anesthetized, and the stromata of their right corneas were inoculated with Fusarium solani [105 colony-forming units (CFU) per milliliter]. Rabbits were divided into 2 groups: one was treated with CXL 72 hours after infection and the other did not receive any treatment (control). All eyes in both the groups were examined before (days 0 and 3) and after (day 7) CXL treatment. The eyes were enucleated, and corneal buttons were sent for microbiological and histological examinations.
Results: All animals developed Fusarium keratitis; there was no statistically significant difference between groups before treatment (day 0, P = 0.397 and day 3, P = 0.702). After CXL treatment, the difference in clinical scores on day 7 between groups was statistically significant (P = 0.00); the CXL group showed significant lower clinical score. The CXL group had 22.45 ± 5.09 CFU/g compared with 42.5 ± 3.12 CFU/g in the control group; this difference was statistically significant (P = 0.01). In the 3 buttons of the control group, similar amounts of Fusarium hyphae and inflammatory cells were observed. In 2 of the 3 buttons analyzed from the CXL group, fewer Fusarium hyphae, inflammatory cells, and nonspecific stromal changes were observed compared with the control group.
Conclusions: Treatment of fungal keratitis with CXL seems to be effective in decreasing the intensity and severity of infectious keratitis by F. solani. This therapy may be useful as a coadjuvant in the medical treatment of resistant infections.