Effect of multipurpose solutions against acinetobacter carrying QAC genes

Maureen V. Boost, Jessica Chan, Guang Sen Shi, Hie Hua Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE: Acinetobacter has low virulence but causes infections in subjects with reduced immunity. It has been reported in ocular infections including those of patients using contact lenses. Treatment is difficult because Acinetobacter is frequently multidrug resistant. Antibiotic-resistant strains frequently also harbor genes for antiseptic resistance (quaternary ammonium compound [QAC]) genes. Because Acinetobacter is part of the normal flora, it may contaminate contact lens and accessories. This study aims to investigate carriage rates of QAC genes in household and clinical isolates of Acinetobacter and to determine the effectiveness of two multipurpose solutions (MPSs) for soft lenses against organisms carrying QAC genes. METHODS: DNA was extracted from 11 bathroom isolates and 15 clinical isolates and amplified by polymerase chain reaction to determine the presence of qacEΔ1. Gene-positive and gene-negative control strains were used to challenge the two MPSs, and minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of these organisms to benzalkonium chloride and chlorhexidine gluconate were determined. RESULTS: More than 90% of isolates carried qacEΔ1. The MICs of clinical isolates were higher than those of isolates of bathrooms. Both MPSs were able to produce a 3-log reduction in the numbers of all isolates. CONCLUSIONS: Although most isolates carried qacEΔ1 and elevated MICs to benzalkonium chloride and chlorhexidine gluconate were observed, all were susceptible to both MPSs tested. However, if there were to be poor compliance with care procedures, it is probable that such organisms could survive in the presence of diluted or expired solutions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-277
Number of pages6
JournalOptometry and Vision Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2014


  • Acinetobacter
  • antiseptic resistance
  • contact lens
  • MPS
  • noncompliance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Optometry
  • General Medicine


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