Adhesion of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Delftia acidovorans, and Achromobacter xylosoxidans to Contact Lenses

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Contact lens cases become contaminated with microbes during use. We wished to compare the adhesion of uncommon bacterial contaminants isolated from lens cases to contact lenses with and without organic soil.


Strains of Delftia acidovorans (001), Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (002 and 006), and Achromobacter xylosoxidans (001) isolated from contact lens cases (test strains) and Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Paer1) isolated from eyes at the time of infiltrative response (control strain) were used. Bacteria were grown and resuspended in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) or 10% organic soil (heat-killed Saccharomyces cerevisiae resuspended in complement inactivated bovine serum). Two silicone hydrogel (senofilcon A and comfilcon A) and one hydrogel lens (etafilcon A) lens materials were used. Bacteria (1.0×106 and 1.0×108 colony-forming units/mL; CFU/mL) adhered to lenses for 24 hr and the numbers of bacteria adherent to each lens type (with and without organic soil) were estimated by culture.


All the four test strains adhered in significantly greater numbers to contact lenses after incubation in inoculum prepared with organic soil compared with PBS—D. acidovorans 001 (0.7 log10 CFU; P<0.05), S. maltophilia 002 (1.7 log10 CFU; P<0.05), S. maltophilia 006 (0.9 log10 CFU; P<0.05), and A. xylosoxidans 001 (0.4 log10 CFU; P<0.05). However, the presence of organic soil did not increase adhesion of P. aeruginosa Paer1 (−0.1 log10 CFU; P>0.05). Achromobacter xylosoxidans 001 (P<0.01), D. acidovorans 001 (P<0.01), and S. maltophilia 002 (P<0.01) significantly differed in their adhesion to the three contact lens materials.


Bacteria that are commonly found in contact lens cases adhered to contact lenses in relatively high numbers in the presence of organic soil. This might indicate that a similar phenomenon occurs in the presence of tears. This may facilitate their transfer from the lens to the cornea and the production of corneal infiltrates.

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