Adherence of Acanthamoeba to lens cases and effects of drying on survival

Maureen Boost, Guang Sen Shi, Hie Hua Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose.: To compare the effects of drying the lens case with tissue on the presence of Acanthamoeba with cases left wet and to determine adherence to the lens case of varying concentrations of Acanthamoeba suspensions. The effect of drying on viability of Acanthamoeba in new, used, and soiled lens cases was compared over a 24 h period. Methods.: New (16) and scratched (16) lens cases were rinsed with a range of Acanthamoeba suspensions. Eight of each group were dried with tissue and the presence of Acanthamoeba was determined in all cases using polymerase chain reaction. To examine effects of drying, forty-two lens case wells were scratched to simulate use and 21 of these were artificially soiled with serum Bovine albumin. These cases and a further 21 unused wells were contaminated with Acanthamoeba (×10/ml) and then left to dry in a cool, dry environment. Three wells of each group were sampled at time 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, and 24 h, and the number of viable Acanthamoeba were determined. Results.: Acanthamoeba were more likely to adhere to used than unused lens cases (p < 0.05). Detection of Acanthamoeba in wiped lens cases was at 2-log dilutions less than in cases left wet for both new and used lens cases. Adherence were significantly different between rinse and rinse/dried cases (p = 0.015). Air drying significantly reduced the numbers of viable amoebic cysts and trophozoites and the effect was time dependent. Survival was significantly higher in used and soiled wells. Conclusions.: Drying with tissue after rinsing significantly reduces numbers of adhering Acanthamoeba. Acanthamoeba were found to be able to adhere even to new unused cases, so the importance of proper cleaning and disinfection of lens cases cannot be underestimated. Air drying reduces viability but some viable cells were present at 24 h in soiled cases, confirming the role of biofilm in protecting organisms from desiccation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)703-707
Number of pages5
JournalOptometry and Vision Science
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011


  • Acanthamoeba
  • adherence
  • contact lens cases
  • drying
  • PCR
  • viability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Optometry


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