To describe the microbiological findings from bandage contact lenses in patients who work in a hospital environment submitted to photorefractive keratectomy (PRK).
This prospective comparative case series enrolled 43 eyes of 22 volunteers (28.05±3.50 years). Fourteen individuals (n=27) were health care professionals who work in health care facilities or community physician's offices. Eight individuals (n=16) were patients who do not work in hospital environment. Photorefractive keratectomy was performed using standard technique, and a silicone hydrogel bandage contact lens was placed on the cornea and evaluated for adequate fit. Seven days after surgery, the bandage lenses were removed and imprinted in the following culture media: blood agar, chocolate agar, anaerobic-selective agar, and Sabouraud agar. When microbial growth was detected, the microorganism was identified, colony-forming units were quantified, and morphology and Gram-staining properties were analyzed. All isolates were tested for susceptibility to various antibiotics. Significance was assessed by Fisher exact test.
Microbial growth was detected in 16.27% of all contact lenses samples. No fungi or anaerobes were found. Microbial growth was only observed in bandage lenses removed from patients who work in hospital environments. Most microorganisms found were sensitive to all antibiotics tested.
These results suggest that working in hospital environments increase contamination of the contact lenses after PRK.