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F van Klink, H Alizadeh, Y He, J A Mellon, R E Silvany, J P McCulley, J Y Niederkorn; The role of contact lenses, trauma, and Langerhans cells in a Chinese hamster model of Acanthamoeba keratitis.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1993;34(6):1937-1944.
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PURPOSE: To determine the role of contact lenses, corneal trauma, and Langerhans cells in the development of keratitis caused by Acanthamoeba organisms in Chinese hamsters. METHODS: Various methods were used to induce corneal infections in Chinese hamsters, including application of parasite-laden contact lenses. The role of corneal epithelial defects in promoting parasite binding was examined in vitro in a microscopic binding assay. The role of corneal abrasion in the development of Acanthamoeba keratitis was also examined in Chinese hamsters exposed to parasite-laden contact lenses. Other experiments evaluated the effect of infiltrating Langerhans cells on the incidence and severity of Acanthamoeba keratitis. RESULTS: Corneal epithelial defects promoted extensive parasite binding to abraded corneas compared to intact, nonabraded counterparts. Corneal abrasion was absolutely necessary for the induction of Acanthamoeba keratitis in hamsters infected with contaminated contact lenses. Infection was never detected unless the corneas were abraded before exposure to parasite-laden contact lenses. The presence of Langerhans cells in corneas prevented the development of Acanthamoeba keratitis. CONCLUSIONS: The highest incidence of Acanthamoeba keratitis occurs in corneas expressing epithelial defects and exposed to parasite-laden contact lenses. The presence of Langerhans cells in corneas exposed to parasite-laden contact lenses prevents the development of Acanthamoeba keratitis.
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