European Study for Contact Lens Related Microbial Keratitis

Dear colleagues,

It’s our honor and pleasure to present the French Study for Contact Lens-related Microbial Keratitis. This study started in 2008 at the Strasbourg University Hospital (A. Sauer, F. Abry, T. Bourcier). All the French university hospitals and many private practionners were then involved in this prospective, multicenter, case-control study for healthy contact lens wearers (controls) and contact lens wearers presenting microbial keratitis (MK, cases). Patients included have to answer to an anonymous standardized questionnaire of 50 items (control group) or 52 items (case group). The goals of the study are to define statistically significant risk factors of MK for contact lens wearers and to prove the importance of medical supervision in contact lens fitting. The study currently includes 2000 patients.

Main related risk factors are:

  • cosmetic contact lens wear : RR = 5.88 (p=0.0001)
  • contact lens fitting without any medical supervision : RR = 6.90 (p<0.001)
  • contact lens purchase online : RR = 7.30 (p<0.001)

The study highlights many mistakes among contact lens wearers:

  • 25% of them are not aware of the risks of infection associated with contact lens wear
  • 26 to 34% did not wash their hands before handling their lenses
  • 30 to 41% use tap water to clean their lenses
  • 40 to 60% keep their contact lenses for swimming

Thanks to the ECLSO, we would like to develop this study in order to expand it into a European study. Although each country has different laws and practices, the aim is now to compare risk factors for contact lens-related MK from one country to another. With your help and participation, we want to defend medical contactology on a European level.

To this end, we have made both questionnaires (“case” and “control”) available in three languages : french, english and german. We would be very grateful if your patients could complete the appropriate questionnaire, whether they are healthy contact lens wearers or they consult for microbial keratitis.

Once completed, you can return questionnaires by mail or email:

We are at your disposition to answer any questions you may have. Thank you very much for your participation. We hope to give you quick initial results of this European Study for Contact Lens Related Micorbial Keratitis. With your help, we will continue to demonstrate the importance of medical control for contact lenses in the interest of our patients.


Dr F Abry, French National Representative for the ECLSO.
Prof. T Bourcier, University Hospital of Strasbourg, France.


  • Microbial keratitis as a foreseeable complication of cosmetic contact lenses: a prospective study. Sauer A, Bourcier T and The French Study Group for Contact Lenses Related Microbial Keratitis. Acta Ophthalmol. 2011; 89: 439-42.
  • Study and prevention of contact-lens related microbial keratitis with a standardized questionnaire. Sauer A, Abry F, Bourcier T and The French Study Group for Contact Lenses Related Microbial Keratitis. J Fr Ophtalmol. 2010; 33: 701-9
  • Risk factors for contact lens-related microbial keratitis: a case-control multicentre study. Sauer A, Meyer N, Bourcier T for the French Study Group of CLRMK. Ophthalmic Epidemiol. Under review.