Effect of contact lens preservatives on Acanthamoeba

Ophthalmology. 1991 Jun;98(6):854-7. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(91)32210-3.


Single preservatives used in contact lens solutions were evaluated for their effectiveness in killing Acanthamoeba castellanii and Acanthamoeba polyphaga trophozoites and cysts. Preservatives were tested against amoebae at intervals varying from 30 minutes to 24 hours. The preservatives were tested with axenically and nonaxenically grown organisms. Chlorhexidine (0.001% and 0.005%), polyaminopropyl biguanide (0.0015%), benzalkonium chloride (0.001% and 0.004%), and hydrogen peroxide (3%) were very effective preservatives. Lower concentrations of these same preservatives were less effective. Thimerosal (0.001% and 0.004%), sorbic acid (0.1%), potassium sorbate (0.13%), EDTA (0.1%), polyaminopropyl biguanide (0.00005%), and polyquaternium-1 (0.001%) were not effective as tested. However, thimerosal 0.004% when combined in solution with EDTA was effective. Preservatives were more effective when tested against axenically prepared organisms than when tested against co-cultured organisms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acanthamoeba / drug effects*
  • Animals
  • Contact Lenses*
  • Ophthalmic Solutions / pharmacology*
  • Preservatives, Pharmaceutical / pharmacology*


  • Ophthalmic Solutions
  • Preservatives, Pharmaceutical