Fungal keratitis is a serious clinical infection on the cornea caused by fungi and is one of the leading causes of blindness in Asian countries. The treatment options are currently limited to a few antifungal agents. With the increasing incidence of drug-resistant infections, many patients fail to respond to antibiotics. Riboflavin-mediated corneal crosslinking (similar to photodynamic therapy (PDT)) for corneal ectasia was approved in the US in the early 2000s. Current evidence suggests that PDT could have the potential to inhibit fungal biofilm formation and overcome drug resistance by using riboflavin and rose bengal as photosensitizers. However, only a few clinical trials have been initiated in anti-fungal keratitis PDT treatment. Moreover, the removal of the corneal epithelium and repeated application of riboflavin and rose bengal are required to improve drug penetration before and during PDT. Thus, an improvement in trans-corneal drug delivery is mandatory for a successful and efficient treatment. In this article, we review the studies published to date using PDT against fungal keratitis and aim to enhance the understanding and awareness of this research area. The potential of modifying photosensitizers using nanotechnology to improve the efficacy of PDT on fungal keratitis is also briefly reviewed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pharmaceutical Science