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Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2001 Jul;45(7):2038-43.

Comparison of hydrogen peroxide contact lens disinfection systems and solutions against Acanthamoeba polyphaga.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 9HN, United Kingdom.


Acanthamoeba is a free-living amoeba causing a potentially blinding infection of the cornea. Contact lens wearers are most at risk and account for some 95% of cases. Hydrogen peroxide is used for contact lens disinfection due to its broad antimicrobial activity. Lenses must be neutralized before use to avoid pronounced stinging and possible corneal damage. Neutralization is achieved by adding a catalyst during the disinfection process (one-step) or afterwards (two-step). Here, the activities of commercial peroxide systems and individual solutions against trophozoites and cysts of Acanthamoeba polyphaga were compared. All disinfection systems were active against trophozoites, giving a > or = 3-log (99.9%) kill within 1 h. Of the four one-step systems, only one showed some cysticidal activity, giving a 1.28 +/- 0.41-log reduction. Both two-step systems were cysticidal, giving a > or = 3-log kill at 4 h. All system peroxide solutions were cysticidal, giving a > or = 3-log kill by 4 to 6 h. Variation in the cysticidal rate was observed with two solutions that gave a 1.8- to 2.1-log kill at 4 h compared with 3.0 to 4.0 for the rest (P < 0.05). No cysticidal activity was found with the peroxigen sodium perborate or the contact lens protein remover subtilisin A. Two-step systems are cysticidal providing contact times of at least 4 h are employed. Variation in cyst killing occurs between peroxide solutions, possibly due to formulation differences. One-step systems are less effective against Acanthamoeba cysts due to rapid peroxide neutralization. The cysticidal activity of one-step systems could be improved if neutralization rates were retarded.

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