Investigation of ocular candidiasis in quarry mining site of Ishiagu, Ivo local government area of Ebonyi Estate, Nigeria

  • I.P. Nwakuche
  • E.U. Ikonne
  • O.C. Ahuama
Keywords: Quarry mining; Ocular infection; Candidiasis; Retinal haemorrhage; Antifungals


Background: Among the various fungal diseases of the eye, candidiasis remains a major one with potentially sight – threatening complications which could result in either partial or complete loss of vision.

Aim: The present study investigated the effects of quarry mining activities in the cause of ocular candidiasis.

Methodology: Standard experimental survey and analysis were conducted on both quarry and non-quarry miners of age limits > 15years. A total of 230 subjects (130 male and 100 female) were tested in this study. Schimer paper was used to collect tears which were subjected to culture, re-culture, characterization, isolation and plasmid profiling.

Results: The result revealed a prevalence of 26.52% of fungal ocular infection among the tested persons. The following isolated Candida species; C. albican, C. tropicalis, C. stellatoidea and C. utilis and some other fungal agents including Rhodotorula rubra, Fusarium sp., Aspergillus sp. and Penicillum sp were significantly (p<0.05) higher in the male compared to the female subjects. The age limits; 26-30 and 36- 40 years were mostly affected, while the least affected persons were < 20 years. The results obtained from occupational disposition of the examined subjects revealed highest ocular candidiasis in quarry workers followed by farmers and learned people. There were significant increase (p<0.05) in physical features and signs such as pains, hyperemia (redness), lid edema, allergy, keratitis, retinal haemorrhage and ocular discharge in males compared to females. In the susceptibility study with antifungal agents, Amphotericin B revealed 100% efficacy to all the fungal isolates, while fluconazole, ketoconazole and voriconazole showed only 20% resistance to some fungal species which became completely susceptible after plasmid curing.

Conclusion: This study has shown that quarrying activities have the potentials of inducing ocular candidiasis which are often contracted through fungal agents in suspended dust particles.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2635-3792
print ISSN: 2545-5672