Adhesive Capabilities of Staphylococcus Aureus and Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Isolated from Tears of HIV/AIDS Patients to Soft Contact Lenses

  •  B. O. Ajayi    
  •  F. E. Kio    
  •  F. D. Otajevwo    


Fifty conjunctival swab samples collected from ELISA confirmed HIV/AIDS seropositive patients who were referred to the HIV/AIDS laboratories of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital and Central Hospital both based in Benin City, Nigeria were aseptically cultured on appropriate media by standard methods. The resulting isolates/strains, after identification by standard methods, were tested for their ability to adhere to two hydrophobic non-ionic daily wear silicone hydrogel soft contact lenses (i.e. lotrafilcon B, WC 33% and polymacon, WC 38%) as well as to two hydrophilic ionic conventional extended wear silicone hydrogel soft contact lenses (i.e. methafilcon A, WC 55% and omafilcon A, WC 60%) by the adhesiveness/slime production modified vortex/Robin device method. Evidence of adhesiveness/slime production was indicated by presence of a visible stained film lining the surface of the contact lens which was measured and recorded as strong or weak according to the density of the adhered bacterial film. Fourteen (28.0%) Staphylococcus aureus strains and 10 (20.0%) Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains were obtained among other organisms. Staphylococcus aureus strains adhered in decreasing order to lotrafilcon B (55.4 ± 4.7), polymacon (46.4 ± 8.4), methfilcon A (46.4 ± 8.4) and omafilcon A (25.0 ± 6.4) with no significant difference in adhesive strengths of individual strains (P > 0.05). Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains also recorded decreasing adhesive strengths to lotrafilcon B (37.5 ± 8.2), polymacon (28.6 ± 6.3), methafilcon A (26.8 ± 5.5) and omafilcon A (23.2 ± 5.5) also with no significant difference in adhesive strengths of individual strains (P > 0.05). Attachment strengths of Staph. aureus strains to all four contact lenses were higher than those of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains. Both organisms adhered most to hydrophobic lotrafilcon B and least to hydrophilic omafilcon A. This invitro adhesion studies revealed that daily wear silicone hydrogel low water content, non-ionic contact lenses are more prone to bacterial adhesion than the conventional extended wear hydrogel high water content, ionic contact lenses and hence, there is more risk of microbial adhesion to the former compared to the latter. Other implications are highlighted.

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