Effects of Antifungal Soaked Silicone Hydrogel Contact Lenses on Candida albicans in an Agar Eye Model
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PURPOSE: To evaluate the effects of two commercial silicone hydrogel contact lenses (CLs) soaked with natamycin (NA) or fluconazole (FL) on the growth of Candida albicans in an in vitro eye model. METHODS: Three-D printed molds were used as a cast for making eye-shaped models comprising potato dextrose agar. Senofilcon A (SA) and lotrafilcon B (LB) CLs were incubated with either 2 mL of NA or FL at a concentration of 1 mg/mL for 24 hr. To simulate a fungal infection, the eye models were coated with C. albicans. The drug-soaked lenses were placed on top of the eye models. Seven experimental conditions were examined: (1) NA-SA, (2) NA-LB, (3) FL-SA, (4) FL-LB, (5) SA, (6) LB, and (7) control-no lens. At specified time points (t=1, 8, 16, 24, 48 hr), the agar eyes from each experimental condition were removed from the incubator and photographed. The yeast cells from the 24 and 48 hr time point were also analyzed using light microscopy. RESULTS: At 24 and 48 hr, there was considerable growth observed for all conditions except for the NA-SA and NA-LB conditions. When observed under the microscope at 24 and 48 hr, the morphology of the yeast cells in the FL-SA and SA condition were similar to that of the control (oval shaped). There was limited hyphae growth observed for LB and significant visible hyphae growth for the NA-LB group. For NA-SA, NA-LB, and FL-LB groups, the cells were significantly smaller compared with the control. CONCLUSIONS: For NA-SA and NA-LB, there was limited growth of C. albicans observed on the eye models even after 48 hr. Under the microscope, the cell morphology differ noticeably between each testing condition, and is dependent on drug-lens combinations.
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