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Year : 1978  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 30-32

Seasonal variation in fungi from eye patients in Lucknow

K.G. Medical College & C.D.R.I., Lucknow, India

Correspondence Address:
O P Srivastava
Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 571413

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How to cite this article:
Srivastava O P, Lal B, Chandra A, Agrawal P K. Seasonal variation in fungi from eye patients in Lucknow. Indian J Ophthalmol 1978;26:30-2

How to cite this URL:
Srivastava O P, Lal B, Chandra A, Agrawal P K. Seasonal variation in fungi from eye patients in Lucknow. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 1978 [cited 2023 Dec 8];26:30-2. Available from: https://journals.lww.com/ijo/pages/default.aspx/text.asp?1978/26/4/30/31499

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Table 1

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Table 1

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Oculomycosis, which used to be a medical curiosity about two decades ago, has come to be recognised as a distinct clinical entity in recent years. Reports of fungal diseases of eyes from different parts of the world show that the causal organisms are in most cases oppor­tunistic fungi normally present in the environ­ment[1],[2],[4],[11],[14],[19],[20],[22],[23],[25],[26] Fungal flora of an area is usually governed by climatic factors, particularly temperature and rainfall (humidity); therefore, a variation in the pattern of fungi occurring in eyes of patients in different regions and different seasons in a country would be natural.

The present communication reports the seasonal variation observed in fungi from normal and diseased eyes of patients in and around Lucknow during 1975-76 for a period of eleven months.

  Material and Methods Top

Normal eyes were selected from the patient! attending the Orthoptic and Refraction units of the Ophthalmology Department, King George's Medical College and the Gandhi Memorial and Associates Hospitals, Lucknow while the diseased eyes were selected from the inpatient department.

For collecting material from the healthy or normal eye the lower lid was pulled down and the eve way swabbed by a sterile cotton applicator moistened with sterile normal saline. The swabs were taken in the Clinical Pathology Laboratory of the Ophthalmology Department and cultured immediately, with full aseptic precautions, in Sabouraud's agar slants containing chloromycetin (0.05 mg/ml). In the case of corneal ulcer patients, the cornea was anaesthetised by 4% xylocaine and the ulcer was scraped with a blunt sterile scoop and cultured in the above mentioned medium. In dacryocystitis cases swabs for culture were taken from the fluid which regurgitated on pressing the naso-lacrimal fossa or from the wound opening in cases of fistula. The slants were incubated at 28±1°C and observed periodically for a period of two weeks. Positive cultures were subcultured on plain Sabouraud's agar for further study.

  Results and Discussion Top

The maximum number of positive cultures were obtained from diseased eyes of patients during the rainy season and early winter and declined thereafter. Another increase in the incidence of positive cultures was observed in the months of February and March. This increase was somewhat marginal in dacryocystitis cases. No case of dacryocystitis was admitted in the hospital in May and August. In Decem­ber there was no corneal ulcer patient and no cases were studied in June. Normal eyes could not be studied in July, August and September and again in February and March in the follow­ing year due to an epidemic of Kerato­conjunctivitis [Table - 1]. Warcup[24] in his study on soil mycoflora found low fungal counts in summer and high fungal counts with the advent of seasonal rains. Agarwal, Shivpuri and Mukerji[3] in their study on the allergeic fungal spores of the Delhi metropolitan area (aeromy­cology) found two spore peaks, one from September to November and the other from February to April. Mishra and Srivastava[12] stu­died aeromycology of Gorakhpur and found that fungal flora increased continuously from August to November and that dominat and subdominant species differed from month to month.

Aspergillus spp. and yeast-like fungi were more frequently isolated in the hot and humid months of the rainy season while species of Penicillium and fungi of the mycelia sterilia group were more frequent in cool and dry winter months [Table - 2]. In their study on soil fungi Saksena[17], Rai and Mukerji[16], and Mukerji[13] found that species of Aspergillus dominated during summer while those of Penicillium in winter months.

Lucknow, the centre of the present study, forms part of the Gangetic plain in Uttar pradesh and has an annual average rainfall of 60-100 cm.[21] Temperature in January ranges between 15 and 20°C and in July between 30-32.5° C[21]. Among the fungi isolated from the eye patients in this investigation, species of Aspergillus far outnumbered the other fungi. Next in order of abundance were the yeast-like fungi closely followed by fungi o f the mycelia sterilia group. Penicillium spp. ranked last [Table - 2]. Asper­gillus spp. were also found to be the commonest in studies carried out in Amritsar[15] and in Manipal[18] but the sequential preponderance of the other fungi encountered in these places diffe­red from that in Lucknow. In Amritsar genera of the mycelia sterilia group Penicillium spp. and Hormodendrum sp. followed Aspergillus spp., while in Manipal the latter were followed by Penicillium and yeast-like fungi. The tempe­rature and rainfall of these two places are also different (Amritsar-annual average rainfall, 40-60 cm.; January and July temperature, 10­-15° C and 30-32.5° C; Manipal-annual average rainfall, 300-400 cm.; January and July temper­ature, 20-25°C and 25-27° C)[21].

  Summary Top

Seasonal variation was observed in fungi from eye patients in and around Lucknow. The maximum number of positive cultures were obtained during the rainy season. Aspergillus spp. and yeast-like fungi were more frequent in hot and humid months while species of Penicil­lium and fungi of the mycelia sterilia group were more common in dry and cool season. Also the species of Aspergillus were the commonest among the fungi isolated.

  Acknowledgements Top

The authors thank Drs. Nitya Nand, V.C. Vora and Prof. M.K. Mehra for their interest n this work.

  References Top

Agarwal, L.P. and Khosla, P.K., 1963. Orient. Arch. Ophthal., 1, 145.  Back to cited text no. 1
Agarwal, L.P., Malik, S.R.K. and Mohan, M., 1963, Brit. J. Ophthal., 47, 109.  Back to cited text no. 2
Agarwal K.K., Shivpuri, D.N. and Mukerji, K.G. 1969, J. Allergy, 44, 193  Back to cited text no. 3
Agrawal, P.K., Lal, B. and Srivastava, O.P. 1977, 36th All India Ophthal. Soc. Conf. held in Bhopal in January 1977.  Back to cited text no. 4
Anderson, B., Roberts, S.S , Gonzales, E. and Chick, E.W., 1959, Arch. Ophthal., 62, 169.  Back to cited text no. 5
Arora, S. and Tyagi, S.C., 1976, Ind. J. Ophthal., 24, 15.  Back to cited text no. 6
Balkrishnan, E. 1961, Brit. J. Ophthal., 45, 828.   Back to cited text no. 7
Currie, D. 1963, Arch. Ophthal., 70, 335.  Back to cited text no. 8
Fine, B.S. and Zimmerman, L.E., 1959, Amer. J. Ophthal., 48, 151.  Back to cited text no. 9
Koul, R.L. and Pratap, V.B., 1975, Brit. J. Ophthal., 59, 47.  Back to cited text no. 10
Laverde, S., Moncada, L.H., Restrepo, A. and Vera, C.L 1973, Sabouraudia, 11, 119.  Back to cited text no. 11
Mishra, R.R. and Srivastava, V.B. 1971, Myco­path. et. Mycol. Appl., 44, 283.  Back to cited text no. 12
Mukerji, K.C., 1966, Mycopath. et. Mycol. Appl. 29, 339.  Back to cited text no. 13
Paulter, E.E., Roberts, R.W. and Beamer, P.R. 1955, Arch. Ophthal., 53, 385.  Back to cited text no. 14
Prabhakar, H., Chitkara, N.L. and Prabhakar, B.R. 1969, Ind..1. Path. & Bact. 12, 158.  Back to cited text no. 15
Rai, J.N. and Mukerji, K.C. 1959, Proc. Ind. Microbiol. Assoc., 1, 3.  Back to cited text no. 16
Saksena, S.B. 1955, J. Indian ot. Soc., 34, 262.  Back to cited text no. 17
Srinivasa Rao, K.N.A. 1972, Ind. J. Ophthal., 20, 164.  Back to cited text no. 18
Srivastava, O.P., Kaul. R.L. and Gupta, S.P. 1976, Ind. J. Ophthal., 24, 19.  Back to cited text no. 19
Srivastava, O.P., Lal, B., Agrawal, P.K., Agarwal, S.C., Chandra, B. and Mathur, I.S. 1977, Sabouraudia, 15, 125.  Back to cited text no. 20
Surveyor General of India, 1965, School Atlas, pages 28 and 30, Messrs Maps & Atlases Public­ations Private Ltd., 6/26, Harrington Road, Cheput, Madras-31.  Back to cited text no. 21
Sood, H.M., Ratnaray, A., Balaraman, G. and Madhavan, H.N., 1968, Orient. Arch. Ophthal., 6,93  Back to cited text no. 22
Thygeson, P., Hogan, M.J. and Kumura, S.J, 1953, Trans. Amer. Acad. Ophthal. Otolaryn., 57, 64.  Back to cited text no. 23
Warcup, J.H. 1951, Trans. Brit. Mycol.. Soc., 34, 376.  Back to cited text no. 24
Wind, C.A and Polack, F.M. 1970, Arch. Ophthal., 84, 694.  Back to cited text no. 25
Zapater, R.C., Albesi, E.J. and Garcia, G.H. 1975, Sabouraudia, 13, 295.  Back to cited text no. 26


  [Table - 1], [Table - 2]


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