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Acanthamoeba keratitis: confirmation of the UK outbreak and a prospective case-control study identifying contributing risk factors
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  • Published on:
    Observations on data analysis on acanthamoeba keratitis
    • Ankur Barua, Consultant Ophthalmologist University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire
    • Other Contributors:
      • Sunil Shah, Consultant Ophthalmologist

    Dear Editor
    We read the above paper with much interest and welcome the review and analysis of trends in acanthamoeba keratitis – a very important complication from contact lens wear. The paper discusses the incidence of acanthamoeba keratitis at Moorfields Eye Hospital, a large tertiary referral centre.
    We note an incidence of 18.5 cases per annum in 1997-1999, rising to a mean of 50.3 per annum in 2011-2016 and hence has been quite rightly quoted as almost a 3 fold increase in cases.
    We would however suggest some caution when using those figures to state that there is an epidemic at present.
    When one attempts to take into account the fluctuations in numbers of contact lens wearers with the United Kingdom per year and relate that to incidence of acanthamoeba keratitis one has a slightly modified view.1 There has been a steady increase in contact lens wear with figures from the ACLM estimating 4.2 million CL wearers in 2016. A figure has been created showing this relative incidence in a chart format.2
    The figure represents the number of cases diagnosed at Moorfields divided by the number of contact lens users (rising from 1.6 million in 1992 to 4.2 million in 2016). Therefore the mean number of cases when adjusted for CL wearers is 8.5 per year with a standard deviation of 5.8, with 11.8 in 2015 and 14 in 2016.
    Whilst there is still a significant rise in cases, compared to the mainly stable period of 1996-2010, the rates are still lower t...

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    Conflict of Interest:
    None declared.