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Imported Pythium insidiosum Keratitis After a Swim in Thailand by a Contact Lens-Wearing Traveler

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  • Université Paris-Descartes, Centre d'Infectiologie Necker–Pasteur, IHU Imagine, Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades, APHP, Paris, France; Fédération de Pathologie Infectieuse Oculaire, Centre de Recherche Institut de la Vision, UMR S 968 Inserm/UPMC/CHNO des Quinze-Vingts, Paris, France; Institut Pasteur, Centre National de Référence Mycoses Invasives et Antifongiques, CNRS URA3012, Paris, France; Service de Microbiologie, Centre Hospitalier National d'Ophtalmologie des Quinze-Vingts, Paris, France

A 30-year-old woman with a history of contact lens wear and exposure to swimming pool water in Thailand presented with a non-responsive, progressive corneal ulcer of the right eye. Confocal microscopy evidenced septate linear branching structures, raising suspicion of fungal keratitis. She was promptly treated with topical antibiotics and both topical and intravenous caspofungin plus voriconazole. Worsening of the clinical picture after 1 month of intensive medical therapy led to a large therapeutic penetrating keratoplasty being performed. Corneal cultures grew a mold-like organism, which was identified by sequencing as Pythium insidiosum, an aquatic oomycete. After 4 years of follow-up, the graft exhibits no infection relapse, but graft transparency has been lost after two rejection episodes. Keratoplasty combined with antifungal treatment may offer a cure to P. insidiosum keratitis, although long-term preservation of corneal transparency is difficult to obtain.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Fanny Lanternier, Centre d'Infectiologie Necker Pasteur, Hôpital Necker-Enfants malades, 149 rue de Sèvres, 75015 Paris, France. E-mail: fanny.lanternier@nck.aphp.fr

Authors' addresses: Lucie Lelievre, Olivier Lortholary, and Fanny Lanternier, Centre d'Infectiologie Necker Pasteur, Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades, Paris, France, E-mails: lucielelievre@hotmail.com, olivier.lortholary@nck.aphp.fr, and fanny.lanternier@nck.aphp.fr. Vincent Borderie, Centre Hospitalier National d'Ophtalmologie des Quinze-Vingts, Paris, France, E-mail: vborderie@quinze-vingts.fr. Dea Garcia-Hermoso, Institut Pasteur, Centre National de Référence Mycoses Invasives et Antifongiques, CNRS URA3012, Paris, France, E-mail: dea.garcia-hermoso@pasteur.fr. Anne C. Brignier, Service d'Hématologie, Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades, Paris, France, E-mail: anne.brignier@nck.aphp.fr. Margaret Sterkers, Service d'Anatomopathologie, Centre Hospitalier National d'Ophtalmologie des Quinze-Vingts, Paris, France, E-mail: msterkers@quinze-vingts.fr. Christine Chaumeil, Laboratoire du Centre Hospitalier National d'Ophtalmologie des Quinze-Vingts, Paris, France, E-mail: cchaumeil@quinze-vingts.fr.

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