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July 1990

Time Course of Experimental Pseudomonas aeruginosa Keratitis in Contact Lens Overwear

Author Affiliations

From the Eye Research Institute (Drs Lawin-Brüssel, Refojo, and Kenyon, and Mss Leong and Hanninen) and Department of Ophthalmology (Drs Lawin-Brüssel, Refojo, and Kenyon), Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1990;108(7):1012-1019. doi:10.1001/archopht.1990.01070090114052

• New perfilcon contact lenses (71% water) were placed on one eye of 36 rabbits under complete tarsorrhaphy for 7 days. The lenses were then removed, and 18 were incubated for 1 hour with a suspension of 1 × 108 colony-forming units per milliliter of Pseudomonas aeruginosa and replaced on their respective corneas. The remaining 18 eyes were inoculated with 0.1 mL of the P aeruginosa suspension; the lenses were not replaced. All eyes were again closed by tarsorrhaphy for 4, 8, 16, 24, 36, or 48 hours. Ulcerative keratitis occurred in contact lens-wearing eyes only, as P aeruginosa penetrated the epithelium at 8 to 36 hours, and polymorphonuclear leukocyte migration began at 24 hours. Compared with conventional abrasion-wound models, the time course of infectious keratitis in this model was delayed, possibly due to less preexisting corneal trauma, but our findings suggest that soft contact lens wear facilitates bacterial invasion and also inhibits the host inflammatory response.

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