Prevalence of antiseptic resistance genes increases in staphylococcal isolates from orthokeratology lens wearers over initial six-month period of use

Shi Guang-sen, Maureen Boost, Hie Hua Wong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of antiseptic-resistance (QAC) genes in staphylococci colonizing periorbital tissues and accessories of orthokeratology (ortho-k) lens wearers over a 6-month period and determine the effect of their presence on minimum inhibitory (MIC) and bactericidal concentrations (MBC) of disinfectants and log reduction of multipurpose contact lens solutions (MPS). Staphylococci were isolated from periorbital tissues and accessories of patients before commencing ortho-k therapy and at two subsequent visits. Presence of QAC genes in 116 S. aureus and 67 CNS isolates was determined by PCR and association with period of ortho-k use determined. MICs and MBCs of staphylococci gene-positive were compared with gene-negative strains and the effectiveness of four MPS for rigid contact lenses investigated. S. aureus carriage rates in the conjunctiva decreased significantly from 41.2 % (baseline) to 11.8 % (3-months), and 13.3 % (6-months) (p trend 0.03), while CNS increased from 58.8 %(baseline) to 94.1 % (3-months), and 93.3 % (6-months) (p trend 0.02). Prevalence of qacA/B increased considerably over time (S. aureus: 4.4 % to 15.4 %, CNS: 6.7 % to 25 %), but frequency of smr was relatively stable. Only five CNS isolates harboured qacH. MICs and MBCs of gene-positive isolates were significantly increased and three MPS did not achieve a 3-log reduction of many QAC-positive strains. Ortho-k lens wear contributed to changes of staphylococcal carriage rates in the conjunctival sac. Use of MPS containing quaternary ammonium compounds may select for the carriage of organisms harbouring QAC genes, as the low concentration of disinfecting agents is not adequate for killing gene-positive strains.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-962
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

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