Evaluation of povidone-iodine as a disinfectant solution for contact lenses: antimicrobial activity and cytotoxicity for corneal epithelial cells

Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2006 May;29(2):85-91. doi: 10.1016/j.clae.2006.02.006. Epub 2006 Apr 18.


Povidone-iodine (PVP-I) possesses broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity and is used clinically as a disinfectant. We evaluated the disinfectant properties and safety of PVP-I for use as a contact lens solution. The concentrations of PVP-I required to reduce the number of Staphylococcus aureus or Candida albicans by 3 log units were lower than were those of hydrogen peroxide, polyhexamethylene biguanide (PHMB), and benzalkonium chloride (BAK). The cytotoxicity of PVP-I for cultured human corneal epithelial (HCE) cells was less than that of the other three agents. The safety margin for PVP-I was thus greatest among the tested compounds. PVP-I appears suited for use as a contact lens disinfectant.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local / pharmacology*
  • Candida albicans / drug effects*
  • Candida albicans / growth & development
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Contact Lens Solutions / pharmacology*
  • Contact Lenses / microbiology*
  • Epithelium, Corneal / cytology
  • Epithelium, Corneal / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Povidone-Iodine / pharmacology*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / drug effects*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / growth & development


  • Anti-Infective Agents, Local
  • Contact Lens Solutions
  • Povidone-Iodine