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Memorias del Instituto de Investigaciones en Ciencias de la Salud

versão On-line ISSN 1812-9528


GINES, JC et al. Microbial contamination of eye drops used by patients in an outpatient clinic of ophthalmology. Mem. Inst. Investig. Cienc. Salud [online]. 2012, vol.10, n.2, pp.38-46. ISSN 1812-9528.

Contaminated eye drops are a potential cause of preventable eye infection. As any topical therapeutic medication, eye drops must be free of contaminants. The frequency of contamination varies across published studies between 0.07% and 35.6%. In our country, there are no published data on the frequency of microbial contamination of eye drops. The objective of this study was to determine the frequency of contamination of eye drops used by the patients than consult in the Visión Foundation in Asuncion, Paraguay. All patients attending the outpatient clinic at the Department of Ophthalmology of the Vision Foundation from August 2007 to July 2008 were asked to turn in their eye drops containers they were using for 2 or more weeks, and their demographic data and data related to the use of eye drops were registered. The containers were sent to the microbiology laboratory of the Health Sciences Research Institute (IICS in Spanish) so that the remaining medication was cultured in conventional microbiological media. Of the 73 containers collected, 8(11%) had positive cultures and the most frequent microorganisms identified were coagulase negativeStaphylococcus,Propionibacterium acnes,Serratia marcescens,Corynebacterium sp, Alcaligenes faecalis and the opportunist fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. The contamination of the eye drops used by these patients is relevant. These results are consistent with reports from other countries and points out the importance of ophthalmologists providing guidance to patients regarding the mode of use, storage and turnover time of eye drops.

Palavras-chave : contamination; eye drops; microorganisms.

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