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Am J Ophthalmol. 1987 Oct 15;104(4):325-33.

Microbial contamination of contact lens care systems.

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Jules Stein Eye Institute, UCLA Center for the Health Sciences.


We examined the contact lens care systems of 100 asymptomatic patients who used hard or soft contact lenses for correction of refractive errors for the presence of bacteria, fungi, Acanthamoeba, and endotoxin. Of 100 patients, 52 had contaminated contact lens care systems. Sixteen of 126 bottles (13%) of commercial contact lens care solutions were contaminated. Contaminated commercial solutions were opened and used for a longer period of time than uncontaminated solutions. Contamination was not found in bottles of preserved commercial solutions that were opened and used for less than 21 days. All 12 bottles of homemade saline were contaminated with bacteria, and Acanthamoeba was isolated from two of these bottles. Pseudomonas was found in the care systems of 12 patients. Bacillus species, which form spores resistant to heat, were found in the care systems of seven patients. Endotoxin, which is also resistant to heat, was detected in nine of 35 care systems (26%) tested. Potential pathogens were isolated from the conjunctiva of six patients.

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