Protamine A strong candidate for contact lens disinfectant

Protamine, a natural protein originally derived from salmon, has a proven safety record and is already used for other medical purposes such as being an antidote to the anti-blood clotting drug heparin.Researchers at UNSW recently performed a series of experiments to evaluate the antimicrobial effects of protamine solutions, with and without additives commonly used in contact lens disinfectant products.The study tested protamine solutions for antimicrobial activity against a standard laboratory panel of microbes, as well as against organisms isolated from patient samples. The potential toxic effects on cultured cells was also evaluated.The results showed the significant antimicrobial effects of protamine solutions. The effects were said to be “dose-dependant” – the higher the protamine concentration, the greater the microbe-killing effectiveness.Protamine was found to kill a wide range of bacteria, yeasts and fungi, including common causes of contact lens-related infections.