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Keratitis Found in Contact Lens Wearers in Singapore

Fungal outbreak associated with lens cleaning solution and poor lens hygiene

TUESDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified an outbreak of fungal keratitis among soft contact lens wearers in Singapore, nearly all of them associated with poor lens hygiene practices and use of ReNu cleaning solution manufactured by Bausch & Lomb, according to a report in the June 28 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. Bausch & Lomb issued a global recall of ReNu with MoistureLoc in May.

Wei-Boon Khor, M.B.B.S., of the Singapore Eye Research Institute, and colleagues identified all cases of fungal keratitis among contact lens wearers in all ophthalmology departments in Singapore from March 2005 to May 2006.

The researchers found 66 patients (68 affected eyes) were diagnosed with Fusarium keratitis, translating into an estimated annual incidence of 2.35 cases per 10,000 contact lens wearers. Nearly all patients (98.5 percent) wore soft disposable contact lenses. The vast majority (93.9 percent) reported using ReNu cleaning solution manufactured by Bausch & Lomb, which included 63.6 percent who reported using ReNu with MoistureLoc. Most patients (81.8 percent) reported having poor contact lens hygiene practices, including wearing daily-wear lenses overnight or wearing expired lenses. Almost two-thirds of patients had severe, sight-threatening lesions that required hospitalization, while 7.4 percent of patients required corneal transplantation.

"We hope to alert physicians and other eye care clinicians worldwide to maintain a high index of suspicion for fungal infection when evaluating and treating patients with contact lens-associated microbial keratitis," Khor and colleagues conclude.

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