Eye Bank Tissue Can Harbor Pathogens

OCTOBER 12, 2015
Gale Scott
Eye banks are generally thought to be a safe place to get tissue for corneal transplant. But a New Hampshire team reporting at ID Week 2015 in San Diego, CA said they found two post-operative candida infections in corneal transplant recipients .
James Noble, MD of Concord Hospital, Concord NH and colleagues reported that though cultures of such eye bank donor tissue are rarely performed one surgeon routinely cultured unused corneal rim tissue and discovered the infections.
“An investigation ensued,” he wrote.
That revealed two confirmed cases of fungal keratitis and additionally two corneal rim cultures positive for fungi all in banked corneal tissue from a single tissue bank. They did not identify the bank.
Nine out of 99 routine cultures of eye bank corneal tissue also recovered fungus, for a percentage of 9.1%.
“Surprisingly nearly 1 in 10 coreas from banked donor tissue may be positive for fungal pathogens,” Noble warned in an abstract.
“It is important to consider fungal pathogens in the ifferential diagnosis of post-corneal transplant infections,” he concluded. 

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