The role of domestic tap water in Acanthamoeba contamination in contact lens storage cases in Korea

Korean J Parasitol. 2005 Jun;43(2):47-50. doi: 10.3347/kjp.2005.43.2.47.


A survey was carried out from August to December 2004 in Pusan, Korea to document the presence of free-living amoeba (FLA), including the genus Acanthamoeba, in both contact lens storage cases and domestic tap water. Acanthamoeba was isolated from 5 (4.2%) in 120 contact lens storage cases. Four house tap water samples from residents, whose contact lens storage cases had been contaminated by Acanthamoeba, were also found to be contaminated with Acanthamoeba. Therefore, the contamination rate of FLA and Acanthamoeba in domestic tap water was investigated in order to examine the role of domestic tap water in Acanthamoeba contamination of contact lens storage cases. FLA and Acanthamoeba were identified in 97 (46.8%) and 16 (7.7%) of the 207 domestic tap water samples, respectively. There were no significant differences between the contamination rates of FLA in tap water according to the filtration plant of origin. No FLA was detected in the tap water directly supplied by the water purification plants. Water storage tanks appear to promote FLA colonization, including Acanthamoeba, in domestic tap water. This increases the risk of Acanthamoeba contamination in contact lens storage cases as well as increasing the risk of Acanthamoeba keratitis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acanthamoeba / isolation & purification*
  • Amebiasis / epidemiology
  • Animals
  • Contact Lenses / parasitology
  • Data Collection
  • Humans
  • Korea / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Water / parasitology*
  • Water Supply / standards*


  • Water