Bacteria can survive longer on contact lenses than originally thought

·Contributing Writer

A new British study is raising a red flag about a harmful bacteria strain that appears to remain on contact lenses even after they have been cleaned.

Researchers from the University of Liverpool discovered that while the majority of clinical bacteria strains are killed within 10 minutes of being immersed in contact lens solution, one strain in particular was able to survive for over four hours.

The study, presented at the Society for General Microbiology annual conference, examined different strains of P. aeruginosa, which is known to cause microbial keratitis -- an eye infection also caused by viruses, fungi and parasites.

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The data shows that one strain, which is known to cause a more severe and prolonged case of microbial keratitis, survived for over four hours in contact lens solution.

The researchers hope that their findings will be used to design a more effective disinfectant solution.

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"Microbial keratitis can be devastating for a patient -- it is important that the risk of developing this condition is reduced in contact lens wearers by improving contact lens disinfectant solutions," says lead author and microbiology professor Craig Winstanley.

In the meantime, while consumers wait for a more powerful contact lens solution to hit the market (if it ever does), you might want to consider leaving your contact lenses in their solution for at least eight hours before wearing them the next day. @@

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