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Haikun Zhang, Fuxin Zhao, Diane S. Hutchinson, Wenfeng Sun, Nadim J. Ajami, Shujuan Lai, Matthew C. Wong, Joseph F. Petrosino, Jianhuo Fang, Jun Jiang, Wei Chen, Peter S. Reinach, Jia Qu, Changqing Zeng, Dake Zhang, Xiangtian Zhou; Conjunctival Microbiome Changes Associated With Soft Contact Lens and Orthokeratology Lens Wearing. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(1):128-136. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.16-20231.
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Usage of different types of contact lenses is associated with increased risk of sight-threatening complications. Changes in the ocular microbiome caused by contact lens wear are suggested to affect infection development in those individuals. To address this question, this study compares conjunctival microbial communities in contact lens wearers with those in noncontact lens wearers.
Paired-end sequencing of the V3 region of the 16S rRNA gene was used to characterize the bacterial communities on the conjunctival surfaces of contact lens wearers and nonwearers.
No differences in microbial diversity were detected between contact lens wearers and nonwearers. Nevertheless, some slight microbe variability was evident between these two different groups. Bacillus, Tatumella and Lactobacillus abundance was less in orthokeratology lens (OKL) wearers than in nonwearers. In soft contact lenses (SCL) wearers, Delftia abundance decreased whereas Elizabethkingia levels increased. The difference in the SCL and nonwearer group was smaller than that in the OKL group. Variations in the conjunctival taxonomic composition between SCL wearers were larger than those in other groups. Sex differences in the conjunctival microbiota makeup were only evident among nonwearers.
Even though there were slight percentage changes between contact lens wearers and nonwearers in some microbes, there were no differences in their diversity. On the other hand, contact lens usage might cause relative abundance of some taxa to change. Our results will help assess whether or not conjunctival microbiome changes caused by contact lens wear affect infection risk.
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