Epidemiology and Infection

Research Article

Epidemiology of Pseudomonas aeruginosa keratitis in contact lens wearers

F. Stapletona1a2a3 c1, J. K. G. Darta2a3, D. V. Seala2a4 and M. Mathesona2a3

a1 Department of Optometry and Visual Science, the City University, 311–321 Goswell Road, London EC1V 7DD

a2 Moorfields Eye Hospital, City Road, London

a3 Department of Clinical Ophthalmology, Institute of Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital, City Road, London

a4 Tennent Institute of Ophthalmology, Western Infirmary, 38 Church Street, Glasgow


This study evaluated the epidemiology of Pseudomonas aeruginosa keratitis in contact lens (CL) wearers; the relationships between CL storage case contamination and CL hygiene practice and between CL hygiene and the development of keratitis. Sixteen CL wearers with keratitis were compared with 44 asymptomatic controls. Lens hygiene practice was assessed and CL care materials, domestic water sites and endogenous sites were evaluated microbiologically. Poor CL hygiene was not associated with Ps. aeruginosa keratitis. There was an association between keratitis and bacterial contamination of the CL and storage case (P < 0·0005). Lens and storage case contamination were not significantly associated with poor hygiene. No domestic or endogenous source for Ps. aeruginosa was found. Causative organisms may be derived from other sources, but CLs and CL storage cases provide a favourable environment for Ps. aeruginosa colonization. Changing the CL care environment to one less favourable for Ps. aeruginosa may help to eliminate this problem.

(Accepted December 12 1994)


c1 For correspondence.