Eye Deceases

Acanthamoeba (B60.1+)

Acanthamoeba keratitis is an eye disease which affects the cornea. It is considered to be a rare disease caused by acanthamoeba. In this disease the acanthamoeba enters the cornea and disturbs the vision. This disease is mostly observed in people who use contact lens. The space which is available between the contact lens and the eye ball is enough for the amoeba to survive and multiply. There are subtle symptoms which are observed in this disease. The treatment for this disease is mostly done by PHMB, which is considered to be very efficient.

Acanthamoeba Information

Scientific Classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Amoebozoa
Genus: Acanthamoeba

Acanthamoeba Causes

The disease is very closely associated with contact lenses as it gives the scope for the amoeba to grow on top of the eyeball. It is observed that acanthamoeba can survive in the space which is available between the contact lens and the eye. It is not necessary that all the people who use contact lens experience this disease. Such cases of acanthamoeba are registered in many other countries where people do not wear contact lens. The contact lenses only give scope for the amoeba to grow and increase due to the tight space it provides for the amoeba.

To avoid this it is important to wear lenses which are thoroughly disinfected and are cleared of any bacteria. Many eye specialists therefore advise contact lens wearers not to leave their lenses in open air as the lens may become a nest for the amoeba to grow. Contact lenses should be removed if the person is surfing or swimming.

Acanthamoeba Symptoms

As mentioned before, acanthamoeba has subtle symptoms which are not easily identified. These symptoms are not very evident and they have the tendency of not surfacing openly. Some of the symptoms that are observed in an acanthamoeba patient are

  • Severe pain in the eyes
  • Corneal perineuritis
  • If the disease is chronic then the person may show ring ulcer
  • Severe keratitis is also observed

Acanthamoeba Treatment

The most commonly used treatment for acanthamoeba is PHMB. It deals with the inclusion of polyhexamethylene biguanide. It is a very powerful disinfectant which removes all kinds of bacteria and amoeba from the location.

Another therapy or treatment which is used is propamidine isethionate. This chemical has also shown positive results when used to treat acanthamoeba.

There are several other chemical which are suggested to treat acathamoeba but not all are effective to deal with the amoeba. Some of the other chemicals suggested to cure this disease are Keratoplasty, combined regimen of propamidine, miconazole nitrate and meomycin.

Acanthamoeba Species

  • Astronyxis*
  • Castellanii*
  • Comandoni
  • Culbertsoni*
  • Divionensis
  • Griffini
  • Hatchetti*
  • Healyi
  • Jacobsi
  • Keratitis*
  • Lenticulata
  • Lugdunensis*
  • Mauritaniensis
  • Palestinensis*
  • Pearcei
  • Polyphaga*
  • Pustulosa
  • Quina*
  • Rhysodes*
  • Royreba
  • Terricola (renamed castellanii Poussard)
  • Triangularis
  • Rubiashi