Purpose: The aim of this study was to validate the method for sterility testing of corneal storage media Tissue-C and Carry-C according to the “Method suitability test” (EP) using BACTEC (Becton Dickinson) automated system in a multicentric study.
Material & Methods: The validation study was performed at the Eye Bank of Rome and Eye Bank of Monza, Italy. Samples of organ culture medium (Tissue-C, AL.CHI.MI.A. S.r.l.), deswelling/transport medium (Carry-C, AL.CHI.MI.A. S.r.l.), and optimal growth media (growth control) were inoculated with 6 EP reference strains to obtain final microbial concentration of 10 cfu/ml, and tested at least in triplicate with BACTEC automatized system.
Method sensitivity, specificity and robustness were determined for each medium, with and without antibiotic removal from samples with RESEP (AL.CHI.MI.A. S.r.l.).
Results: Both eye banks obtained the same method sensitivity and specificity results. The method for sterility testing of Tissue-C and Carry-C samples after RESEP-treatment using BACTEC system showed 100% sensitivity and specificity. Samples treated with RESEP showed similar times to detection as compared to growth controls.
Conclusions: BACTEC system can be considered validated with 100% sensitivity and specificity, and robustness for samples of corneal storage media contaminated with 1-10 cfu/ml, and treated with RESEP.