Microwave treatment of contact lens cases contaminated with acanthamoeba

Cornea. 2001 Jul;20(5):467-70. doi: 10.1097/00003226-200107000-00005.


Purpose: Microbially contaminated contact lens cases are a predisposing risk factor for Acanthamoeba keratitis. Several findings have shown that microwave irradiation kills the six Food and Drug Administration test challenge microorganisms. We aimed to determine what effect microwave irradiation has on Acanthamoeba trophozoites and cysts.

Methods: Different types of contact lens cases were contaminated with trophozoites and cysts of three different Acanthamoeba species (A. comandoni, A. castellanii, A. hatchetti) and were exposed to microwave irradiation for 3, 5, and 8 minutes, respectively.

Results: Trophozoites, as well as cysts of the different Acanthamoeba strains, were effectively killed, even by only 3 minutes of microwave irradiation, and there were no negative effects of irradiation on the contact lens cases themselves.

Conclusion: We demonstrate that microwave treatment is a very effective, easy, and cheap method to keep contact lens cases free of Acanthamoeba, thus considerably reducing the risk of an Acanthamoeba keratitis.

MeSH terms

  • Acanthamoeba / radiation effects*
  • Acanthamoeba Keratitis / prevention & control
  • Animals
  • Contact Lenses*
  • Disinfection / methods*
  • Humans
  • Microwaves*
  • Product Packaging*