Fungal flora of normal eyes of healthy horses from the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


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The conjunctival fungal flora of 32 adult horses with normal eyes (n = 64) from the State of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil was identified in the fall of 2000 using horses of different breeds, both genders and aged 5–19 years old. The culture samples were taken from the conjunctival sac of both eyes with a sterile cotton swab wetted with saline solution, seeded in Sabouraud's dextrose agar with chloramphenicol, and incubated for 5 days at an average temperature of 25 °C. The number of fungal colonies per eye varied between 0 and 250 colony forming units (CFUs). There were often differences in colony types between eyes of the same animal. Filamentous fungi of genera were isolated and identified in the following proportion of the total genera of fungal colonies isolated: Aspergillus (32.2%), Penicillium (25.8%), Scopulariopsis (15.9%), Trichoderma (11.2%), Cladosporium (5.6%), Mucor (2.1%), Syncephalastrum (2.1%), Eurotium (1.7%), Geotrichum (0.9%), Rhizopus (0.9%), Gliomastix (0.4%), Fusarium (0.4%), Staphylotrichum (0.4%) and Verticillium (0.4%). Yeast genera represented 9% of the total isolates. Over half the horses had at least one normal eye with either Aspergillus, Penicillium, Trichoderma or Scopulariopsis isolated, which is a departure from other studies of the normal horse eye.