Fusarium Keratitis May Be Linked To Saline Solution
Bausch & Lomb voluntarily stops shipment of ReNu Moisture Loc while investigation continues
TUESDAY, April 11 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with microbial keratitis should be evaluated for possible Fusarium keratitis, a rare but serious fungal infection that is thought to have occurred in more than 100 U.S. patients in 17 states, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many of the cases were reported in patients who wear soft contact lenses and have used Bausch & Lomb's ReNu brand contact lens solution or a generic brand manufactured by the same company.
Fusarium keratitis can cause permanent or significant vision loss. Some patients have required corneal transplants. As of April 9, 2006, 109 suspected cases were under investigation by the CDC and 30 had been fully investigated. Investigators found that 28 of the 30 patients wore soft contact lenses and that 26 of them reported using Bausch & Lomb's ReNu brand contact lens solution or the generic brand, either alone or in combination with other saline products.
Bausch & Lomb has stopped shipment of ReNu Moisture Loc products while the investigation continues. The FDA urged consumers to use caution when cleaning and disinfecting contact lenses, and to report any eye infection symptoms to a physician.
"This is a serious infection and soft contact lens users should be mindful of the potential to develop this problem," said Daniel Schultz, M.D., director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health in a statement. "We're advising consumers to practice good basic hygiene and follow manufacturers' instructions for proper use, cleaning and storage of their lenses."