The role of pili in the attachment of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to unworn hydrogel contact lenses

Fletcher, Erica L., Weissman, Barry A., Efron, Nathan, Fleiszig, Suzanne M., Curcio, Anita J., & Brennan, Noel A. (1993) The role of pili in the attachment of Pseudomonas aeruginosa to unworn hydrogel contact lenses. Current Eye Research, 12(12), pp. 1067-1071.


Contamination of contact lenses is thought to increase the risk of infectious keratitis, yet factors promoting attachment of bacteria to contact lenses are not fully understood. It has been suggested that strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa attach to mucosal surfaces via pili which are appendages found on some strains. This study investigated the role of pili and the effect of incubation time on the attachment of P. aeruginosa to 20 unworn hydrogel lenses representative of each of the four FDA categories. Ten lenses were incubated for 15 minutes and another ten for 180 minutes. Lenses were incubated with either PAK + P. aeruginosa which possessed pili or its isogenic mutant pair, PAK-, which was genetically similar except for the absence of pili. Bacteria were quantified, following homogenization of the contact lens, by viable counts. Non-piliated bacteria were significantly more likely to adhere to the lenses (p < 0.001). A significant interaction between lens type and incubation time was observed (p < 0.05); thus it is difficult to generalize about either of these effects in isolation. These results show that surface characteristics may confer an attachment advantage to bacteria.

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23 citations in Scopus
18 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 3378
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the journal’s website (see link) or contact the author. Author contact details:
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Keywords: Bacterial Adhesion, Contact Lenses, Fimbriae, Bacterial/, physiology, Pseudomonas aeruginosa/, physiology, Colony Count, Microbial, Comparative Study, Hydrogel, Microbiological Techniques, Polyethylene Glycols, Research Support, Non, U, S, Gov't, Time Factors
ISSN: 0271-3683
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OPTOMETRY AND OPHTHALMOLOGY (111300)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 1993 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: First published in Current Eye Research 12(12):pp. 1067-1071.
Deposited On: 10 Feb 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2011 14:07

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