Alert: Burkholderia cenocepacia novel cluster with suspected association with carbomer containing lubricating eye gel

  • 24 Nov 2023
  • Jonathan Baker

The UKHSA is investigating a novel cluster of Burkholderia cenocepacia involving 20 cases across the UK. Preliminary epidemiological and microbiological investigations have identified a potential association with carbomer containing lubricating eye gel. Investigations into the link between the cluster and carbomer eye gels are ongoing, and these findings are not conclusive at this stage. The UKHSA alert can be found at this link:

Based on the UKHSA’s findings the manufacturer has issued a product recall of specific brands of carbomer in the following notice, which we urge you to read  DSI/2023/11.

The brands are AACARB eye gel, AACOMER eye gel and PUROPTICS eye gel.

Ophthalmology departments should engage with pharmacy colleagues to ensure all products identified in the recall are quarantined and returned via the supplier’s approved process.

As a precautionary measure, and until further information is available, the RCOphth recommends members avoid prescribing carbomer containing eye gels where possible in the following groups:

  • individuals with cystic fibrosis
  • critical care inpatients
  • severely immunocompromised patients
  • patients awaiting lung transplantation.

If you have any queries regarding this alert please contact Beth Barnes, Head of Professional Support: [email protected]