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Bacteria lives longer than thought in CL solution.

BACTERIA CAN survive for longer in contact lens solution than was previously believed, a new study has shown.

Reported at the Society for General Microbiology Annual Conference in Liverpool (April 14-17), the study found that a bacterial strain associated with more severe eye conditions showed enhanced resistance to a common contact lens disinfectant.

Bacteria infections cause around 6,000 cases of microbial keratitis annually. Contact lens wear has been identified as a risk factor of the condition, which causes an inflammation and ulceration of the cornea and can lead to vision loss.

Researchers at the University of Liverpool and The Royal Liverpool University NHS Trust tested a variety of different strains of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria--which is known to cause keratitis--for its ability to survive in a common contact lens solution. The study compared nine strains against the standard P. aeruginosa 9027 which is used by contact lens solution manufacturers.

While results reported that the majority of the strains were killed within 10 minutes of entering the solution, P. aeruginosa 39016 was able to survive for more than four hours. Worryingly, it is this strain which is associated with a more severe keratitis and has a prolonged healing time.

Researchers believe the results suggest that this type of bacteria should be included when testing the efficacy of contact lens solutions to ensure that procedures are robust enough to kill all strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Professor Craig Winstanley, lead researcher on the study, said: "Microbial keratitis can be devastating for a patient --it is important that the risk of developing this condition is reduced in contact lens wearers by improving contact lens disinfectant solutions."

Researchers will now look at further isolates to discover how widespread the bacterial resistance is, and to understand the reasons for it. The additional research could help establish more effective disinfectant processes in the future.

Emily McCormick
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Title Annotation:NEWS; contact lens
Author:McCormick, Emily
Publication:Optometry Today
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Apr 25, 2014
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