Acanthamoeba Infection

  Acanthamoeba InfectionAcanthamoeba infection Description, Causes and Risk Factors: Acanthamoeba: A genus of free-living ameba (family Acanthamoebidae, order Amoebida) found in and characterized by the presence of acanthopodia. Human infection includes invasion of skin or colonization following injury, corneal invasion and colonization, and possibly lung or genitourinary tract colonization; a few cases of brain or CNS invasion have occurred, but not solely by the olfactory epithelium route of entry as with the more virulent infections caused by Naegleria fowleri. Species responsible are chiefly Acanthamoeba culbertsoni, but cases have been reported involving Acanthamoeba castellanii, Acanthamoeba polyphaga, and Acanthamoeba astronyxis, though most cases have been chronic rather than fulminating and rapidly fatal as with Naegleria fowleri infection. A person with an Acanthamoeba infection has a parasitic infection of the eye or brain, caused by an amoeba. Amoebas are tiny, single celled organisms that are present in soil and water. Acanthamoeba can enter the skin through a cut, wound, or through the nostrils. Infection of the eye is common, while brain infection is very rare. Acanthamoeba infection is most common in people who wear contact lenses, but anyone can develop the infection. For people who wear contact lenses, certain practices can increase the risk of getting Acanthamoeba infection Storing and handling lenses improperly.
  • Disinfecting lenses improperly (such as using tap water or homemade solutions to clean the lenses).
  • Swimming, using a hot tub, or showering while wearing lenses.
  • Coming into contact with contaminated water.
  • Having a history of trauma to the cornea.
Symptoms: The symptoms of Acanthamoeba infection can be very similar to the symptoms of other eye infections. These symptoms, which can last for several weeks or months, may include: Eye redness.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Eye pain.
  • Sensitivity to light.
  • Sensation of something in the eye.
  • Excessive tearing.
  • Patients should consult with their eye doctor if they have any of the above symptoms.
  • Acanthamoeba infection will eventually cause severe pain and possible vision loss or blindness if untreated.
Diagnosis: Early diagnosis is essential for effective treatment of Acanthamoeba infection. The infection is usually diagnosed by an eye care provider based on symptoms, growth of the Acanthamoeba ameba from a scraping of the eye, and/or seeing the ameba by a process called confocal microscopy. Tests that may be used to evaluate an Acanthamoeba infection include: Eye scrapings may be obtained for culture and stains.
  • CT scanning of the brain.
  • Lumbar puncture.
Treatment: Acanthamoeba infections can be very difficult to treat. Most cases of Acanthamoeba infection involve the eye, which responds to antibiotic drops, and in some cases, surgery to remove infected tissue. Therapy may be continued for 6 to 12 months. Acanthamoeba infections that involve the brain, lungs, or sinuses require treatment with intravenous antibiotics; however, most of those who develop infections beyond the eye die from the infection. Treatment for an Acanthamoeba infection of the brain includes: Intravenous fluids. Intravenous antibiotics:
  • Ketoconazole (Nizoral).
  • Itraconazole (Sporanox).
  • Pentamidine (NebuPent).
  • Flucytosine (Ancobon).
NOTE: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care. Related: Eye Keratitis

1 Comment

  1. Akhil Arya

    Acanthamoeba infection: A class of free-living amoeba (family Acanthamoebidae, arrange Amoebida) found in and described by the nearness of acanthopodia. Human disease incorporates intrusion of skin or colonization following damage, corneal attack and colonization, and perhaps lung or genitourinary tract colonization; a couple of instances of mind or CNS intrusion have happened, however not exclusively by the olfactory epithelium course of section as with the more harmful contaminations caused by Naegleria fowleri.


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