Chemical Reaction May Have Caused Eye Infections

Discussion in 'Eye-Care' started by Roman Bystrianyk, Aug 23, 2006.

  1. "Chemical Reaction May Have Caused Eye Infections", Forbes, August 22,

    Government researchers report that a recent outbreak of severe eye
    infections was indeed associated with the use of ReNu with MoistureLoc
    contact lens solution, but a chemical reaction that can occur with the
    solution appears to be the actual culprit.

    Officials also believe the fungal contamination occurred in patients'
    homes, and not in the manufacturing or storage process.

    "We think that there's something about the chemical make-up of the
    solution that allows the fungus to grow and cause infection," said
    study senior author Dr. Benjamin J. Park, medical officer with the U.S.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "We don't know the exact
    mechanism, but it's important that users of solution don't use

    After the same research team came out with a preliminary report in May,
    Bausch & Lomb recalled the solution.

    For the 34 million contact lens wearers in the United States, the risk
    of developing keratitis, an infection that can lead to blindness or the
    need for a corneal transplant, is about four to 21 per 10,000. The risk
    is amplified for soft lens users, and by wearing lenses overnight or
    not following correct care protocols.

    In February, however, unusually large clusters of patients with
    Fusarium were reported in Singapore and Hong Kong. A high proportion of
    these individuals had used a Bausch & Lomb ReNu brand contact lens

    Beginning in March of this year, CDC officials started receiving
    reports of similar cases among contact lens wearers in the United

    In May, Bausch & Lomb stated that the combination of moisturizing
    agents exclusive to MoistureLoc could increase the risk of keratitis
    infections in unusual circumstances. HealthDay's attempts to reach the
    company for comment on this latest report were unsuccessful.

    For this study, which appears in the August 23/30 issue of the Journal
    of the American Medical Association, CDC researchers looked at
    confirmed cases of Fusarium keratitis that occurred after June 1, 2005.

    As of June 30, 2006, 164 cases had been identified in 33 states and one
    U.S. territory. About one-third (34 percent) of these patients required
    corneal transplantation. Almost all (94 percent) wore soft contact

    This latest paper focused on 45 patients and 78 controls. Sixty-nine
    percent of patients had used ReNu with MoistureLoc, compared with 15
    percent of controls.

    Researchers did not find Fusarium at the factory or warehouse, or in
    unopened solution bottles.

    Ongoing research is trying to determine the exact mechanism of
    infection, although when 39 isolates of the fungus were tested, at
    least 10 different genetic types were found. "This suggests that the
    organism had a lot of different sources," Park said.

    In the meantime, contact lens wearers should take proper care of their

    "There seems to be an association of this infection with patients who
    don't replace their contact lens solution on a daily basis. That's a
    dangerous thing to do," said Dr. Robert Cykiert, a clinical associate
    professor of ophthalmology at New York University School of Medicine in
    New York City. "I ask my patients if, when they take a bath, do they
    drain the bathtub at the end or jump into the same bathwater the same
    day. You're putting your contacts in old bathwater."

    "People who are reusing the old solution are more likely to get an
    infection," Park confirmed. "But we don't think that this outbreak is
    due to hygiene measures alone. The most important component was clearly
    the solution."
    Roman Bystrianyk, Aug 23, 2006
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.