The effect of currently available contact lens disinfection systems on Acanthamoeba castellanii and Acanthamoeba polyphaga

Ophthalmology. 1990 Mar;97(3):286-90. doi: 10.1016/s0161-6420(90)32590-3.


Contact lens disinfection systems were evaluated for their effectiveness in killing Acanthamoeba castellanii and Acanthamoeba polyphaga trophozoites and cysts. Amoebae were inoculated into commercially available contact lens cleaning and soaking solutions. At intervals varying from 30 minutes to 24 hours, solutions were filtered. The filters were removed and cultured for Acanthamoeba organisms. Striking differences were observed in the abilities of the different disinfecting solutions to kill the organisms. Solutions containing chlorhexidine were effective at very short exposure times. Solutions containing benzalkonium chloride required slightly longer exposure times but were faster than solutions containing only thimerosal. Solutions containing sorbate, polyaminopropyl biguanide, or polyquaternium-1 were not effective at killing Acanthamoeba organisms in the time allotted for the experiment. Solutions containing hydrogen peroxide were quite effective if the agent was not prematurely catalyzed. A. polyphaga generally required longer exposure to disinfectants than did A. castellanii for complete inhibition to occur.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acanthamoeba / drug effects*
  • Animals
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Contact Lenses*
  • Disinfectants / pharmacology*
  • Equipment Contamination
  • Ophthalmic Solutions / pharmacology*
  • Time Factors


  • Disinfectants
  • Ophthalmic Solutions