Equine infectious keratitis in Finland: Associated microbial isolates and susceptibility profiles.


Mustikka MP, Grönthal TSC, Pietilä EM.
Vet Ophthalmol. 2019 Jul 31.



To retrospectively describe laboratory findings, treatment, and outcome associated with equine infectious keratitis in Finland.


Medical records of horses diagnosed with infectious keratitis in University of Helsinki Equine Hospital from January 2007 to June 2018 were reviewed.


Forty-seven cases were included. Keratomycosis was diagnosed in 27 eyes and bacterial keratitis in 20 eyes. Aspergillus flavus was the most frequent fungal isolate (9/17, 53%), followed by Cylindrocarpon sp. (3/17, 18%) and Aspergillus fumigatus (2/17, 12%). Susceptibility was tested for 10/11 Aspergillus sp. isolates; all were susceptible to voriconazole while only two were susceptible to amphotericin B. Cylindrocarpon sp. isolates were resistant to both agents. Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus was the most frequent bacterial isolate (9/19, 47%), followed by other streptococci (4/19, 21%). All 13 Streptococcus sp. isolates were susceptible to penicillin, and all tested isolates (n = 11) were also susceptible to chloramphenicol. Mean duration of medical treatment was longer in fungal keratitis (38 days) than in bacterial keratitis (25 days) (P < .001). Twenty-six of the eyes underwent globe-sparing surgery in addition to medical therapy. Recovery was achieved in 66% (31/47) of all cases and in 59% (16/27) and 75% (15/20) (P = .264) of cases with keratomycosis and bacterial keratitis, respectively.


Although Aspergillus sp. and S zooepidemicus were the most frequently encountered isolates, cytology, culture, and susceptibility testing are essential to differentiate bacterial and fungal keratitis and guide the clinician to choose the most efficient treatment.


bacterial keratitis; cornea; equine; fungal keratitis; isolates; susceptibility