Investigation of effects of orthokeratology and povidone iodine disinfecting solution on the conjunctival microbiome using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry

Maureen Valerie Boost, Sin Wan Cheung, Pauline Cho

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


To determine organisms present in the conjunctiva of children before and after orthokeratology lens wear, using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry.

Conjunctival samples were collected from children aged 8–12 years (inclusive) at baseline and on three occasions over the first six months of orthokeratology treatment. All lenses were disinfected using the povidone iodine-based solution every day after use. Specimens were cultured and all isolated colonies were identified using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. Numbers of organisms and diversity were compared over the study period and the presence of any ocular pathogens noted and participants informed, where appropriate, to enhance their compliance with lens care routine.

Organisms isolated from 76 children were generally similar to other studies employing culture methods. However, MALDI-TOF results yielded a wider range of species of micrococci and corynebacteria, as well as a few less frequently reported organisms. Only one culture yielded fungi. Ocular pathogens were only isolated from 9 subjects (4 before lens wear and 5 after lens wear), each on one occasion only. Diversity and numbers of organisms fell slowly over the period of the study, but the changes were not significant.

Lens wear did not affect the overall content of the ocular microbiome, but the diversity was somewhat reduced. The incidence of ocular pathogens was low, suggesting that risk of ocular infection was not substantially increased by orthokeratology treatment using a povidone-iodine disinfecting solution.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100024
Number of pages1
JournalAdvances in Ophthalmology Practice and Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Ocular microbiome
  • Myopia control
  • Orthokeratology
  • Children

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