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Knowledge, Behavior, and Free-Living Amoebae Contamination of Cosmetic Contact Lens Among University Wearers in Thailand: A Cross-Sectional Study

Mahittikorn, Aongart Ph.D.; Kittichathanakul, Thanuntorn B.Sc.; To-Im, Jongdee Ph.D.; Nacapunchai, Duangporn M.D.

Eye & Contact Lens: Science & Clinical Practice: March 2017 - Volume 43 - Issue 2 - p 81–88
doi: 10.1097/ICL.0000000000000246

Objective: To assess the general knowledge, behavior, and presence of potentially pathogenic amoebae in cosmetic contact lens (CCL) wearers.

Methods: One hundred CCL asymptomatic wearers were randomly selected. A questionnaire regarding their lens use, and a pair of their CCL was obtained. Identification of free-living amoeba (FLA) strains was based on morphological diagnosis, enflagellation tests (for non-Acanthamoeba strains), and sequencing of the small-subunit rRNA gene fragments.

Results: Most (92%) of the participants surveyed were women, and the average age of the participants was 21.5±0.2 years. The CCL wearers generally showed a moderate (47%) or good (35%) level of knowledge, and good (51%) or excellent (40%) use of CCL. Two CCL samples were positive for Acanthamoeba genotype T3 or Vahlkampfia. The Acanthamoeba-contaminated CCL was from a wearer who used saline for treating lenses, and the Vahlkampfia-contaminated CCL was from a wearer who used CCL while swimming.

Conclusions: This is the first report of the presence of potentially pathogenic FLA in used CCL from asymptomatic wearers in Thailand. Although there was satisfactory knowledge and practice of lens care use, the public should be aware of CCL contaminated with potentially pathogenic FLA that can directly or indirectly cause keratitis.

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Department of Protozoology (A.M.), Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand; Department of Clinical Chemistry (T.K., D.N.), Faculty of Medical Technology, Mahidol University, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand; and Faculty of Environment and Resource Studies (J.T.-I.), Mahidol University, Nakhon Pathom, Thailand.

Address correspondence to Duangporn Nacapunchai, M.D., Department of Clinical Chemistry, Faculty of Medical Technology Mahidol University, Nakhon Pathom 73170, Thailand; e-mail:

T. Kittichathanakul and D. Nacapunchai received a grant from the Faculty of Graduate Studies Academic Year 2012, Mahidol University. The remaining authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Supported by the 60th Year Supreme Reign of his Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej Scholarship, granted by the Faculty of Graduate Studies Academic Year 2012, Mahidol University.

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Accepted December 21, 2015

© 2017 Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists, Inc.