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Acanthamoeba keratitis: confirmation of the UK outbreak and a prospective case control study identifying contributing risk factors

Carnt, N; Hoffman, J; Verma, S; Hau, S; Radford, C; Minassian, D; Dart, JK; (2018) Acanthamoeba keratitis: confirmation of the UK outbreak and a prospective case control study identifying contributing risk factors. British Journal of Ophthalmology , 102 (12) 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2018-312544. Green open access

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Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK) is a chronic debilitating corneal infection principally affecting contact lens (CL) users. Studies were designed to test claims that the UK incidence may have increased in 2012–2014 and to evaluate potential causes. METHODS: Annualised incidence data were collected from January 1984 to December 2016. Case-control study subjects were recruited between 14 April 2011 and 05 June 2017. Reusable CL users with AK were recruited retrospectively and prospectively. Controls were reusable CL users, recruited prospectively, with any disorder other than AK. Multivariable analysis of questionnaire data measured independent risk factors for AK. RESULTS: The current outbreak of AK started in 2010–2011 with an incidence threefold higher than in 2004–2009. Risk factors for AK were: Oxipol disinfection, CLs made of group IV CL materials, poor CL hygiene, deficient hand hygiene, use of CLs while swimming or bathing, being white British, and for those in social classes 4–9. CONCLUSION: AK is a largely preventable disease. The current outbreak is unlikely to be due to any one of the identified risk factors in isolation. Improving CL and hand hygiene, avoiding CLs contamination with water and use of effective CL disinfection solutions, or daily disposable CLs, will reduce the incidence of AK. In the longer-term, water avoidance publicity for CL users can be expected to reduce the incidence further. Ongoing surveillance of AK numbers will identify changes in incidence earlier. Evaluation of Acanthamoeba contamination in end-user drinking water would contribute to our understanding of regional variations in the risk of exposure.

Type: Article
Title: Acanthamoeba keratitis: confirmation of the UK outbreak and a prospective case control study identifying contributing risk factors
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2018-312544
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bjophthalmol-2018-312544
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10054253
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