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J Med Microbiol. 2008 Sep;57(Pt 9):1051-7. doi: 10.1099/jmm.0.2008/000976-0.

Acanthamoeba and the blood-brain barrier: the breakthrough.

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  • 1School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Birkbeck College, University of London, London WC1E 7HX, UK.


Acanthamoeba granulomatous encephalitis is a rare disease that almost always proves fatal. Death occurs mainly due to neurological complications; however, the pathogenesis and pathophysiology associated with this disease remain incompletely understood. Haematogenous spread is a key step in the development of Acanthamoeba encephalitis, but it is not clear how circulating amoebae breakthrough the blood-brain barrier to gain entry into the central nervous system to produce the disease. This review of the literature describes the parasite factors and immune-mediated mechanisms involved in the blood-brain barrier dysfunction leading to neuropathogenesis.

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