Objective: The efficacy of topical natamycin 5% was studied using a reproducible model of keratomycosis
produced by Candida albicans in the rabbits.
Method: Candida albicans was isolated from infected human eye and 4 x 105 cells of the Candida albicans was injected into the corneal stroma of the eyes of 15 rabbits. All eyes developed a corneal ulcer without pretreatment with immunosuppressive agents. Forty-eight hours after inoculation, the animals were divided into two groups: test group I, 10 eyes receiving natamycin drops in a 5% suspension; control group II, five eyes receiving 0.9% normal saline solution. The rabbits’ corneas were removed for Candida albicans recovery and placed in 1 ml of sterile 0.9% normal saline solution, minced within two hours with scalpel and thoroughly homogenized with a piston and mortar. Serial dilutions of this corneal solution from 10-1 – 10-4 were made in 0.9% sterile saline solution and 100 μl aliquots were plated onto tryptic soy agar. All cultures of cornea from the treated eyes were negative after seven days of inoculation while five cultures were still positive in the control eyes at the end of the experiment.
Result: It was found that 5% natamycin was effective in treating experimental Candida albicans induced keratomycosis in rabbits.
Conclusion: It is concluded that natamycin has a significant effect (p < 0.01) against Candida albicans in treating experimental keratomycosis