Seasonal and Temporal Trends of Infectious Keratitis in Northern Vietnam

Binh Cao Francis I Proctor Foundation, University of California, San Francisco, California;

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Chi Hoang Viet Vu Vietnam National Eye Hospital, Hanoi, Vietnam;

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Cung Xuan Le Vietnam National Eye Hospital, Hanoi, Vietnam;

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Tuan Hoang Anh Vietnam National Eye Hospital, Hanoi, Vietnam;

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Dong Pham Ngoc Vietnam National Eye Hospital, Hanoi, Vietnam;

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Hiep Nguyen Xuan Vietnam National Eye Hospital, Hanoi, Vietnam;

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John P. Whitcher Francis I Proctor Foundation, University of California, San Francisco, California;
Department of Ophthalmology, University of California, San Francisco, California

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Jeremy D. Keenan Francis I Proctor Foundation, University of California, San Francisco, California;
Department of Ophthalmology, University of California, San Francisco, California

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ABSTRACT.

The epidemiology of corneal ulcers in Vietnam has not been well characterized. In this report, we reviewed retrospectively the microbiological data of patients with a clinical diagnosis of corneal ulcer at the microbiology laboratory of Vietnam National Eye Hospital from January 1, 2010 to March 31, 2023. We observed a seasonal pattern for fungal and microsporidial keratitis, with an annual peak in November, and an inverse relationship between fungal keratitis and inclement weather. The November peak coincided with one of the major harvesting seasons in Vietnam. We also observed increasing numbers of microsporidial and Acanthamoeba keratitis cases in recent years. Knowledge of these trends are helpful in guiding empirical treatment of corneal infections and preventing corneal blindness.

Author Notes

Financial support: This work was supported by the Fogarty International Center of the NIH (Award No. D43TW009343); the University of California Global Health Institute; the All May See Foundation; Research to Prevent Blindness, Harold Varmus, MD Endowed Fund for Global Health Scholars; and UCSF School of Medicine Yearlong Research Fellowship.

Disclosure: The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH or the University of California Global Health Institute.

Disclosure: Ethical approval was obtained from the Vietnam National Eye Hospital and from the University of California, San Francisco.

Authors’ addresses: Binh Cao, Francis I Proctor Foundation, University of California, San Francisco, CA, E-mail: binh.cao@ucsf.edu. Chi Hoang Viet Vu, Cung Le Xuan, Tuan Hoang Anh, Dong Pham Ngoc, and Hiep Nguyen Xuan, Vietnam National Eye Hospital, Hanoi, Vietnam, E-mails: hoangvietchi@gmail.com, cungvienmat@gmail.com, anhtuanbvm@gmail.com, dongpn69@gmail.com, and nguyenxuanhiepvnio@gmail.com. John P. Whitcher and Jeremy D. Keenan, Francis I Proctor Foundation, University of California, San Francisco, CA, and Department of Ophthalmology, University of California, San Francisco, CA, E-mails: jack.whitcher@ucsf.edu and jeremy.keenan@ucsf.edu.

Address correspondence to Jeremy D. Keenan, Francis I Proctor Foundation, Department of Ophthalmology, University of California, San Francisco, 490 Illinois St., San Francisco, CA 94518. E-mail: jeremy.keenan@ucsf.edu
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