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Hygiene May Play Role in Acanthamoeba Keratitis

About 40 percent of patients did not use contact lens solution associated with recent outbreak

THURSDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- While a particular contact lens solution was associated with recent Acanthamoeba keratitis infections in contact lens users, environmental and hygiene issues may also be partly responsible for an increase in cases, according to a case-control study in the August issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology.

Charlotte E. Joslin, O.D., of the University of Illinois at Chicago, and colleagues analyzed variables such as water exposure, use of contact lens solutions, and lens-hygiene habits among 39 patients who had had Acanthamoeba keratitis and 113 controls.

Their results showed that Advance Medical Optics Complete MoisturePlus Multi-Purpose Solution was an independent risk factor for Acanthamoeba keratitis in users of soft contact lenses (odds ratio 16.67). However, because 38.8 percent of cases had not used this product, other factors, such as reusing solution, failure to rub lenses while cleaning, and wearing lenses while showering may have also played a role.

"Recent research from a number of different centers suggests that there may be a complex interaction between lenses, solutions, hygiene and environmental risk factors that results in the increased current rise in the incidence of non-bacterial infectious keratitis," according to an editorial. "Our hope is that increased attention from the recent outbreaks of Fusarium and Acanthamoeba keratitis will translate into advancements in our understanding of the risk factors for these infections as well as recommendations for optimal diagnosis and treatment."

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