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Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2018 Jun;41(3):245-251. doi: 10.1016/j.clae.2017.12.017. Epub 2017 Dec 19.

Acanthamoeba in the eye, can the parasite hide even more? Latest developments on the disease.

Author information

1
Instituto de Investigaciones para la Industria Química (INIQUI, CONICET - Universidad Nacional de Salta), Av. Bolivia 5150, 4400, Salta, Argentina; Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad Nacional de Salta, Av. Bolivia 5150, 4400, Salta, Argentina; Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Nacional de Salta, Av. Bolivia 5150, 4400, Salta, Argentina.
2
Unidad de Investigación y Desarrollo en Tecnología Farmacéutica (UNITEFA, CONICET - Departamento de Ciencias Farmacéuticas, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba), Ciudad Universitaria, 5000, Córdoba, Argentina.
3
Instituto de Investigaciones para la Industria Química (INIQUI, CONICET - Universidad Nacional de Salta), Av. Bolivia 5150, 4400, Salta, Argentina; Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad Nacional de Salta, Av. Bolivia 5150, 4400, Salta, Argentina.
4
Instituto de Investigaciones para la Industria Química (INIQUI, CONICET - Universidad Nacional de Salta), Av. Bolivia 5150, 4400, Salta, Argentina; Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad Nacional de Salta, Av. Bolivia 5150, 4400, Salta, Argentina; Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering (SCELSE), School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
5
Unidad de Investigación y Desarrollo en Tecnología Farmacéutica (UNITEFA, CONICET - Departamento de Ciencias Farmacéuticas, Facultad de Ciencias Químicas, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba), Ciudad Universitaria, 5000, Córdoba, Argentina. Electronic address: sdpalma@fcq.unc.edu.ar.

Abstract

Acanthamoeba spp. is a free living protozoan in the environment, but can cause serious diseases. Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK), a severe and painful eye infection, must be treated as soon as possible to prevent ulceration of the cornea, loss of visual acuity, and eventually blindness or enucleation. Although the disease affects principally contact lens (CLs) wearers, it is recognized nowadays as a cause of keratitis also in non-CLs wearers. Although the number of infections caused by these amoebae is low, AK is an emerging disease presenting an extended number of cases each year worldwide mostly due to the increasing use of CLs, but also to better diagnostic methods and awareness. There are two principal causes that lead to severe outcomes: misdiagnosis or late diagnosis of the causal agent, and lack of a fully effective therapy due to the existence of a highly resistant cyst stage of Acanthamoeba. Recent studies have reported different genotypes that have not been previously associated with this disease. In addition, Acanthamoeba can act as a reservoir for phylogenetically diverse microorganisms. In this regard, recently giant viruses called Pandoravirus have been found within genotypes producing keratitis. What potential risk this poses is not yet known. This review focuses on an overview of the present status and future prospects of this re-emerging pathology, including features of the parasite, epidemiology, clinical aspects, diagnosis, and treatment.

KEYWORDS:

Acanthamoeba; Diagnosis; Keratitis; Re-emerging pathology; Therapy

PMID:
29273391
DOI:
10.1016/j.clae.2017.12.017

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