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April 1979

Attachment of Bacteria to Soft Contact Lenses

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, and the Department of Cornea Research, Eye Research Institute of Retina Foundation, Boston.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1979;97(4):659-660. doi:10.1001/archopht.1979.01020010315005

• A total of 25 soft contact lenses from 17 asymptomatic contact lens wearers and eight patients with contact lens-associated giant papillary conjunctivitis were examined by scanning electron microscopy. Structures that resembled bacteria were present on the anterior surface of seven lenses. All lenses showed a coating of granular mucus-like deposits. Some bacteria were seen scattered randomly over the surface, with no apparent attachment to the lens, whereas others were attached to the coated surface by thin, flagella-like foot processes, the distal ends of which were unattached. These attached bacteria were cylindrical in shape. Several bacteria showed a constriction centrally. Some bacteria were covered by the surface coating, while others, which were round to ovoid in shape, appeared partially embedded in the coating itself. Aggregations of bacteria were seen around clumps of mucuslike debris.

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