Acanthamoeba in Southeast Asia - Overview and Challenges


Acanthamoeba, one of free-living amoebae (FLA), remains a high risk of direct contact with this protozoan parasite which is ubiquitous in nature and man-made environment. This pathogenic FLA can cause sight-threatening amoebic keratitis (AK) and fatal granulomatous amoebic encephalitis (GAE) though these cases may not commonly be reported in our clinical settings. Acanthamoeba has been detected from different environmental sources namely; soil, water, hot-spring, swimming pool, air-conditioner, or contact lens storage cases. The identification of Acanthamoeba is based on morphological appearance and molecular techniques using PCR and DNA sequencing for clinico-epidemiological purposes. Recent treatments have long been ineffective against Acanthamoeba cyst, novel anti-Acanthamoeba agents have therefore been extensively investigated. There are efforts to utilize synthetic chemicals, lead compounds from medicinal plant extracts, and animal products to combat Acanthamoeba infection. Applied nanotechnology, an advanced technology, has shown to enhance the anti-Acanthamoeba activity in the encapsulated nanoparticles leading to new therapeutic options. This review attempts to provide an overview of the available data and studies on the occurrence of pathogenic Acanthamoeba among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members with the aim of identifying some potential contributing factors such as distribution, demographic profile of the patients, possible source of the parasite, mode of transmission and treatment. Further, this review attempts to provide future direction for prevention and control of the Acanthamoeba infection.






Bunsuwansakul, C; Mahboob, T; Hounkong, K; Laohaprapanon, S; Chitapornpan, S; Jawjit, S; Yasiri, A; Barusrux, S; Bunluepuech, K; Sawangjaroen, N; Salibay, CC; Kaewjai, C; Pereira, MD; Nissapatorn, V

nossos autores


This work is under the project entitled of Medicinal underexploited Thai native plants against Acanthamoeba, Leishmania donovani, and Plasmodium falciparum -Toward South East Asia collaboration initiative (Grant No. 040226) supported by The Royal Patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. We are also grateful to the Project CICECO-Aveiro Institute of Materials, FCT Ref. UID/CTM/50011/2019.

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