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Optom Vis Sci. 2005 Jun;82(6):446-50.

Adhesion of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus epidermidis to silicone-hydrogel contact lenses.

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Centro de Engenharia Biológica, Universidade do Minho, Portugal.



The purpose of this study is to compare the adhesion capabilities of the most important etiologic agents of microbial ocular infection to the recently available silicone-hydrogel lenses with those to a conventional hydrogel lens.


In vitro static adhesion assays of Pseudomonas aeruginosa 10,145, Staphylococcus epidermidis 9142 (biofilm-positive), and 12,228 (biofilm-negative) to two extended-wear silicone-hydrogel lenses (balafilcon A and lotrafilcon A), a daily wear silicone-hydrogel lens (galyfilcon A) and a conventional hydrogel (etafilcon A) were performed. To interpret the adhesion results, lens surface relative hydrophobicity was assessed by water contact angle measurements.


P. aeruginosa and S. epidermidis 9142 exhibited greater adhesion capabilities to the extended wear silicone-hydrogel lenses than to the daily wear silicone- and conventional hydrogel lenses (p < 0.05). No statistical differences were found between the adhesion extent of these strains to galyfilcon A and etafilcon A. The biofilm negative strain of S. epidermidis adhered in larger extents to the silicone-hydrogel lenses than to the conventional hydrogel (p < 0.05), but in much lower amounts than the biofilm-positive strain. The water contact angle measurements revealed that the extended wear silicone-hydrogel lenses are hydrophobic, whereas the daily wear silicone- and conventional hydrogel lenses are hydrophilic.


As a result of their hydrophobicity, the extended wear silicone-hydrogel lenses (lotrafilcon A and balafilcon A) may carry higher risk of microbial contamination than both the hydrophilic daily wear silicone-hydrogel lens, galyfilcon A and the conventional hydrogel lens, etafilcon A.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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