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Anti-Acanthamoeba activity of contact lens solutions
  1. Ingrid A Niszl,
  2. Miles B Markus
  1. Parasitology Research Programme, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
  1. Professor M B Markus, Parasitology Research Programme, University of the Witwatersrand, Private Bag 3, Wits, Johannesburg, 2050, South Africa.


AIMS This study was undertaken to investigate the effects of contact lens disinfecting solutions on strains ofAcanthamoeba from the United Kingdom and southern Africa and to compare the results with those of other researchers. No information was previously available for southern African isolates.

METHODS 11 contact lens solutions were tested on cysts of 10 strains of Acanthamoeba.

RESULTS Not all solutions used in the study were effective, with some for hard and gas permeable contact lenses being more satisfactory than those for soft contact lenses. The most effective of the gas permeable and hard contact lens solutions tested was Transoak (0.01% (wt/vol) benzalkonium chloride), which killed cysts of all strains within 4 hours of exposure. Oxysept 1 (31 mg hydrogen peroxide/ml) was the best soft contact lens solution tested. It eliminated cysts of certain strains within 4 hours, whereas cysts of other strains were only inactivated within either 8 or 72 hours.

CONCLUSIONS Manufacturers should be aware of the killing time for Acanthamoeba by contact lens solutions and should provide appropriate guidelines for the use thereof. The killing time for cysts of the African and UK isolates studied is, in general, similar. Therefore, it must in the present state of knowledge be assumed that usage guidelines suggested in the UK are also appropriate for travellers to South Africa and for local residents in South Africa.

  • contact lenses
  • Acanthamoeba
  • keratitis
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