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Harmful bacteria can live in contact cleaning solution for hours: Study

Written by: QMI Agency
 

Apr. 17, 2014

Harmful bacteria can live in contact cleaning solution for hours: Study (Fotolia)


 

A harmful strain of bacteria that causes eye infections in contact lens users may survive longer in cleaning solutions than previously thought, British researchers say.

A severe eye condition known as microbial keratitis causes inflammation and ulceration of the cornea, and can lead to vision loss.

University of Liverpool researchers tested contact lens solutions and found nine clinical strains of the keratitis-causing bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa was killed within 10 minutes.

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But they found one strain, P. aeruginosa strain 39016 — associated with a more severe case of keratitis with a prolonged healing time — was able to survive for more than four hours in the solution.

"Microbial keratitis can be devastating for a patient — it is important that the risk of developing this condition is reduced in contact lens wearers by improving contact lens disinfectant solutions," lead researcher Craig Winstanley said in a press release.

The findings were presented Thursday at the Society for General Microbiology Annual Conference in Liverpool.

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