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Ophthalmologica. 2006;220(4):238-41.

Acanthamoeba keratitis and contact lens disinfecting solutions.

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  • 1Microbiology Laboratory, General Hospital of Athens 'G. Gennimatas', Athens, Greece.



To report cases of culture-proved Acanthamoeba keratitis in Greece over a 10-year period and to evaluate the effectiveness of the commonly used commercial contact lens disinfecting systems in clinical cases of Acanthamoeba keratitis.


During the years 1994-2004, 45 contact lens wearers and 3 non-contact lens wearers presenting with symptoms and signs of keratitis underwent corneal sampling. The scrapings obtained were inoculated directly onto appropriate culture media for bacteria, fungi and Acanthamoeba. All proved positive for Acanthamoeba. The contact lenses and contact lens disinfecting solutions (16 one-step 3% hydrogen peroxide and 3 multipurpose solutions) of 19/45 patients with culture-proven Acanthamoeba keratitis were cultured for bacteria, fungi and Acanthamoeba.


Acanthamoeba was isolated from contact lenses and contact lens disinfecting solutions in all 19 cases of Acanthamoeba keratitis studied.


The main risk factor for corneal infection in contact lens wearers is the use of contact lens disinfecting systems ineffective at killing Acanthamoeba cysts and trophozoites, as well as bacteria and fungi. Improvement or development of new contact lens disinfecting systems by manufacturers is needed to prevent Acanthamoeba keratitis.

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