Acanthamoeba keratitis is a chronic infection of the human cornea. Many people who have this infection wear soft contact lenses. Usually lens wearers clean and maintain their lenses with various ophthalmic solutions including homemade saline. Recently it has been shown that homemade saline solutions play a role in lens contamination and thus in Acanthamoeba keratitis. We therefore evaluated the viability of cysts of three species of Acanthamoeba by exposing them for various time periods to saline, cleaning, and disinfectant solutions generally used to care for these lenses. We found that the viability of the cysts in saline solutions ranged from a minimum of 14 days to 90 days of exposure. In cleaning solutions, the survival times ranged from a minimum of 1 day to 90 days of exposure. Disinfectants, as expected, were the most effective of all tested solutions in killing Acanthamoeba cysts. The survival times ranged from 6 h to 14 days. None of these products were effective in destroying Acanthamoeba cysts in less than 6 h of exposure, which exceeds the suggested time that any given solution should be used for lens care
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