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Aust N Z J Ophthalmol. 1999 Jun-Aug;27(3-4):221-3.

Secretory IgA epitopes in basal tears of extended-wear soft contact lens wearers and in non-lens wearers.

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  • 1The Cooperative Research Centre for Eye Research and Technology, Randwick, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.



To determine secretory IgA epitopes in tears of extended-wear soft contact lens wearers and non-wearing controls.


We developed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) to determine the tear concentrations of two epitopes of secretory IgA, the IgA alpha-chain and the secretory component. These epitopes were measured in basal tears of 20 individuals in 6 nights of extended wear of etafilcon A soft contact lenses and in 19 non-lens-wearing individuals.


Levels of IgA alpha-chain immunoreactivity were significantly decreased in the lens-wearing group compared to non-lens wearers. However, the level of secretory component immunoreactivity was not significantly different between groups. IgA alpha-chain and secretory component immunoreactvity were highly correlated; however, some samples showed a marked variation between these two values.


Tear concentrations of sIgA epitopes are significantly reduced in extended-wear contact lens wearers, and may contribute to the increased susceptibility to ocular infection seen in this group.

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