How contact lenses shape the “eye” microbiome

Contact lenses have been linked to the development of inflammatory eye conditions in their wearers such as giant papillary conjunctivitis and keratitis. Now a new study characterizes the microbiome of the eye, and reports that there are distinct differences in the ocular microbiome of contact lens wearers when compared to those who do not wear contacts. The researchers found that the eye microbiome of contact wearers is more similar to the skin microbiome including high abundances of microbes like methylobacterium, Lactobacillus, and Pseudomonas and lower abundances of microbes like Streptococcus and Staphylococcus. Further study will be needed to determine whether or not the microbes found in the eye microbiome of contact lens wearers may put them at increased risk for eye infections.

cDNA ORF Clone News book Shin H et al. Changes in the eye microbiota associated with contact lens wearing.
mBio (2016) 7(2):e00198-16. doi:10.1128/mBio.00198-16.
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