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Loss of Bactericidal Activity from Contact Lens Storage Solutions

Rosenthal Ruth A. MS; McDonald, Matilda M. BA; Schlitzer, Ronald L. PhD; Abshire, Robert PhD; Stone, Ralph PhD
Eye & Contact Lens: January 1997
Contact Lenses: PDF Only


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of lens storage on the bactericidal activities of disinfecting solutions.


HYDROCURVE® II (55% water content) soft contact lenses were soaked in OPTI-FREE® Rinsing, Disinfecting, and Storage Solution (preserved with polyquaternium-1 [PQ-1]) or ReNu® Multi-Purpose Solution (polyaminopropyl biguanide [PHMB]). After the lenses were removed, solutions were challenged with Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus aureus. Uptake of the antimicrobial agents by the lenses was evaluated by placing the lenses on plates seeded with S. aureus and observing for zones of growth inhibition.


The bactericidal activity of the PHMB preserved solution decreased after 4 hours of storage time and showed no activity after storage for 3 days. Lenses soaked in the PHMB preserved solution produced zones of inhibition. The results suggest that the PHMB in the solution accumulates in the lens. This decreases the levels of preservative in the solution that is no longer available during lens storage. Neither decrease in bactericidal activity nor accumulation of the PQ-1 preservative in the lens occurred during storage with the PQ-1 solution.


These results demonstrate that PQ-1 preserved solutions maintain bactericidal activity overnight and during prolonged storage without detectable uptake by lenses.

© 1997 The Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists, Inc.