Clinical findings and outcomes of ulcerative keratomycosis in 30 horses in the mid-Atlantic United States (2006-2007)

Mary Utter, K. L. Wotman, M. Armour, J. Bagel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to determine the clinical course and outcome associated with keratomycosis in horses in the mid-Atlantic USA. Records of horses diagnosed with keratomycosis at New Bolton Center from November 2006 to November 2007 with positive fungal culture were retrospectively studied. Neither horses with ulcerative keratitis and a negative fungal culture nor those with stromal abscesses were included. Subject details, history, clinical findings, therapy and outcome were recorded. Thirty horses fitted both inclusion criteria (diagnosis of keratomycosis and positive corneal fungal culture). Fourteen of 30 cases occurred during summer. Aspergillus was the most commonly cultured fungal genus (17/30, or 57%) followed by Alternaria (4/30). Seventeen horses had positive bacterial and fungal cultures. Fifteen of 30 horses were treated surgically by a keratectomy and amnion (8) or conjunctival (7) graft. Itraconazole was the most common topical anti-fungal therapy and was utilised in 25/30 horses. Globe survival was 97% (29/30). All surviving globes had a positive menace response and were visual at the last examination. It was concluded that in the mid-Atlantic USA, fungal keratitis is common, has the highest incidence in summer, and is usually associated with a positive outcome. Aspergillus may be a relatively more common corneal pathogen in this region than elsewhere in the USA. Surgical cases were more likely to have fungal hyphae identified on cytology and tended to be hospitalised longer than medical cases. There was no apparent association between surgical disease and all other patient, organism and treatment variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-39
Number of pages9
JournalEquine Veterinary Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Amnion graft
  • Antifungal
  • Conjunctival graft
  • Corneal surgery
  • Fungal keratitis
  • Horse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Equine


Dive into the research topics of 'Clinical findings and outcomes of ulcerative keratomycosis in 30 horses in the mid-Atlantic United States (2006-2007)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this