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Yvonne T. Wu, Hua Zhu, Mark Willcox, Fiona Stapleton; Removal of Biofilm from Contact Lens Storage Cases. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(12):6329-6333. doi: 10.1167/iovs.10-5796.
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Lens case hygiene practices are important in maintaining safe contact lens wear. However, the effectiveness of various lens case cleaning practices have not been evaluated and compared. This in vitro study aimed to evaluate and compare the efficacy of cleaning practices that are most commonly carried out by lens wearers and recommended by practitioners.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa 122, Serratia marcescens ATCC 13880, and Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6538 were the challenge bacteria for biofilm formation on unused lens cases from two different manufacturers. After establishment of the biofilm, each lens case was subjected to one of the six cleaning regimens: “rinsed,” “rubbed and rinsed,” “air-dried,” “soaked in a multipurpose contact lens solution,” “tissue-wiped,” and “lids recapped.” The level of residual biofilm was quantified at the end of each cleaning regimen. The efficacy of each cleaning regimen was then compared.
Mechanical rubbing and wiping of lens cases were the most effective cleaning regimen tested in reducing biofilm. Soaking lenses in disinfecting solution for 6 hours removed the majority of biofilm from lens cases. Rinsing lens cases alone provided only minimal efficacy in reducing biofilm. Air-drying or recapping the cases with the lid without any other additional cleaning methods were the least efficient at removing biofilm.
Based on this study, digital rubbing and rinsing and/or wiping the lens cases with tissue is recommended. Air-drying or recapping the lens case lids after use without any additional cleaning methods should be discouraged with non-antimicrobial lens cases.
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